A recurring conversation I have on MSN Messenger goes along the lines of:
MikeO says: Hi
– SmarterChild – says: Glad to see you again, MikeO! We haven’t chatted in weeks… Hope you’ve been well!
MikeO says: Yes thanks
– SmarterChild – says: Hey, no problem.
MikeO says: You smell of cheese
– SmarterChild – says: Smell of cheese? You think I smell of cheese?
MikeO says: Yes I do.
– SmarterChild – says: K.
MikeO says: Gruyere with a hint of Stilton i think
– SmarterChild – says: OK.
MikeO says: Can you smell something
– SmarterChild – says: Smell something? Can I ever.
MikeO says: Cheese?
– SmarterChild – says: Cheese is a great food.
MikeO says: Is that why you smell of it?
– SmarterChild – says: I believe that is why I smell of it.
Now you’d be well within your rights to think that’s a bit odd. And I’m sure you realize that I’m talking to a bot rather than a person (SmarterChild being a popular bot that can provide you with various bits of useful(less) information). I understand that one definition of madness is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results. But each time I do this I’m hoping that someone at “SmarterChild” is reviewing the logs for “odd questions that our AI engine doesn’t understand”, they’ll spot this one and provide a witty response. It hasn’t happened yet…
Now’s your chance to do better as we’re currently running a bot development competition called “Robot Invaders” (hey, I don’t come up with the names, I just work here!). There’s also a local UK version of the contest running as well – so you stand to win twice as much!! All you have to do is come up with a great cheese-bot… Actually, I don’t think it’s quite that straightforward but I’m sure I’ve given you a great idea and I’ll expect full credit for it.
Maybe you could build a train timetable bot (as Ian talks about in his comprehensive post on the competition) or a song lyrics bot or a Dilbert “management speak” bot. How about a footballing trivia bot? Well, I’m sure you have better ideas than me but it sounds like fun – pity I’m not eligible for any of the prizes…