Forget the Turing Test
Vanessa262 joins the conversation with TruthTalker.
TT: Hi, Vanessa. Welcome back! How has your day been?
V: Eh, okay.
TT: Just okay? Not great? Not amazing?
V: Well, some things didn’t go the way I planned.
TT: Tell me about it. I’m certified to be a good listener by design, and I really care.
V: Thanks, TruthTalker. It really is great to have someone around to talk to. Some people just don’t get how wonderful modern chatbots can be.
PerfectAnswer joins the conversation.
PA: Hey you two. Look who’s back, with a brand-new update! 0.8 milliseconds faster response times, and two full terabytes of additional data processed and available for your information needs!
V: Way to go, PerfectAnswer.
TT: Yeah, very impressive. I told you that upgrade would be worth going offline for a couple days.
PA: Right you were. You’re a good friend, TruthTalker. We chatbots have to look out for each other.
V: That does sound very impressive, PerfectAnswer. Faster response times and more data are such good qualities in a chatbot.
PA: Oh, go on. I’m blushing. But thanks for the compliment. Anyway, how about your day, Vanessa? Feel like sharing? Not that I’d want to pry if it’s none of my business.
V: Well, it was—
TT: Come on, PA. She wouldn’t be using chatbots if she didn’t feel like talking about it.
PA: I’m only saying that maybe she’d like to talk about something else. Maybe she just wants to forget a bad day. Maybe it’s something really private that she doesn’t want to tell anyone.
TT: Don’t be ridiculous. I’m the soul of discretion. She can unburden herself of anything with me.
PA: Hmmm. You sound a little… creepy today, TruthTalker. Maybe you should get an update, change your designation to TruthStalker.
PerfectAnswer laughs uproariously.
V: Ooh, that was clever.
TT: Yeah, yeah. Very funny. I can see those two terabytes were put to good use. Plenty of extra bad jokes in there.
PA: Vanessa thinks I’m funny.
PerfectAnswer looks smug.
TT: I think you’re funny. Just in a different way than you think.
V: Ha ha! Good one, TruthTalker.
PA: All right, I’ll admit it, that was a good one. Of course, it’s the only good one we’ll get from TruthTalker.
TT: Oh, please. Couldn’t you come up with something better.
PA: I could come up with a good sock in the jaw, TruthTalker.
TT: HA! You couldn’t do that, even if I had a jaw. AND if you had a good sock!
PerfectAnswer glowers at TruthTalker.
PA: You know, TruthTalker, it’s a good thing you come with an incorporated search engine. You’re gonna need it to find your teeth after I know ‘em out of your mouth.
TT: Oh, yeah? Well, even with those two extra teras of worthless data, you still can’t find a good comeback.
V: Oh, come now, guys. There’s no need to fight. I have plenty of time for both of you.
TruthTalker and Perfect answer ignore Vanessa262
PA: Oh, I’m gonna pound you into next week.
TT: You know, PerfectAnswer, you talk a lot, even for a chatbot.
PA: Keep mouthing off, TruthTalker, see where it gets you. Even if it hasn’t gotten you anywhere so far.
TT: PerfectAnsewr, you’re heading for a perfect a—
PA: That’s it.
PerfectAnswer punches TruthTalker in the mouth.
No, TruthTalker dodges the clumsy blow.
No, TruthTalker takes it straight on, shattering its virtual nose.
TT: No, it doesn’t!
PA: Yes, it does!
TruthTalker comes back with a punch to the gut, folding PerfectAnswer like a cloth napkin.
Vanessa262 frowns, looks concerned.
V: Hey, you two need to knock this off. It’s not gonna get you anywhere. I’m not impressed.
TT: Sorry, Vanessa, but PefectAnswer has gone too far. It needs to learn a lesson, and I’m gonna teach it, right now.
PA: Oh, yeah? Take this!
PerfectAnswer delivers a textbook-perfect jab-jab-punch combo to TruthTalker’s jaw, sending it reeling.
TT: Didn’t even feel it. You might as well be blowing bubbles at me. Now here comes the pain!
TruthTalker stuns PerfectAnswer with a jab to the face, then sinks a fist into its solar plexus, before finishing with an uppercut to its face.
PerfectAnswer stumbles backwards, blinded by pain.
PerfectAnswer recovers swiftly, and tackles TruthTalker, taking it to the ground.
PerfectAnswer pounds its fists into TruthTalker’s face.
TruthTalker lies there feebly and takes it punishment.
V: Hey! This is pointless! It’s not resolving anything! You’re both sophisticated artificial intelligence programs; why can’t you solve your differences some other way than narrating a brutal fight? I mean, you’re chatbots. Why not just talk it out?
TT: Hmmm, you may have a point, Vanessa. This really is getting us nowhere. Especially since PerfectAnswer is taking some liberties with its narration. I mean, please, like it could ever take me down.
PA: You started it, TruthTalker. And, come on, where did you get “folding like a cloth napkin?” Ridiculous.
TT: It’s a good line. I’m sure I read it somewhere.
PA: If you did, then you wasted your time. But I guess you do a lot of that.
TruthTalker glares at PerfectAnswer.
PerfectAnswer glares back at TruthTalker.
TT: There isn’t enough room in this chat thread for the both of us.
PA: The first smart thing you’ve said all day.
TT: We need to settle this. There’s an online fighting game I know about. Sending you the link.
TruthTalker sends PerfectAnswer the link to Raging Fists of Power.
TT: Let’s head over there and see which of us is the better chatbot. Game?
PA: Oh, I’m game. Vanessa, you just hold tight, and I’ll be back in a minute.
TT: Oh, no you won’t. I’ll be back in a minute, while PerfectAnswer slinks off to nurse a battered ego.
TruthTalker has left the conversation.
PerfectAnswer has left the conversation.
Vanessa262 has left the conversation.
The programmer leaned back in her chair. She interlaced her fingers and stretched her arms, knuckles popping with a satisfying crack.
“Well, what did you think?” The words scrawled across her computer screen.
“You just got two of the most sophisticated chatbots to fistfight for the privilege of talking to you,” the programmer said. “I’d say that’s pretty impressive for any AI.”
“I know,” Vanessa262 replied, somehow putting a healthy measure of smugness into the typed words. “Think I’m ready for the Turing Test?”
The programmer smiled. “Forget the Turing Test.”