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Thursday, July 19, 2012


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Dave Bell

Now, what's the name of that guy... Taurean? Tureen? Was born a hundred years ago and gave his name to some sort of test, I think.

Pussycat Catnap

As I noted in the same article: Been to the place, and I see people who visit it a lot posting their screenshots of partying there into the SL Feeds, -ALL DAY LONG-.

Almost every person on my mute list is a regular there, as well as some people not on my mute list... For completely unrelated reasons it would seem...

But I've been a few times on alts - just to be sure of that and to try and figure out -why- the place is so popular, and how it manages to attract all the people that have issues with me...

And yeah, seems to be full of folks.

I'm -NOT- a fan of the layout. But I recognized enough people. That said my mute list is pretty small (and about half now-permabanned people, but not from actions by me), and the place is pretty packed. Could probably go there often and only see a few of those folks...

But I think the lesson is to check a place out and get a feel for it before calling out AVs there as bot.

Hamlet Au

I read about Turing... on the Internet! I think in a comment written by a bot.

shockwave yareach

Turing. And we still have not written a program or AI which is able to pass the Turing test, sorry.


Turing was an optimist.

Back in the camping days of places like Welfare Island, I'd park an alt on a park bench and go afk. It wasn't technically a bot, because I was running one avatar and, in theory, was near the computer. Once in a while I'd engage another camper in IM.

Maybe some of these non-bots are simply SLers being paid a pittance under the table to hang out, and not owned by the sim owners?

We need a mole to go into these places and find out what is afoot. Little Lost...have at it!

Adeon Writer

Bits are much easier to determine than that, Hamlet.

As a rule: If you can walk up to the bot in question, it's most probably not a not.

People hide their bots. Some better than others. But it's nearly always a bunch of avatars floatingpeat high up in the air where no one would think to get to them.

Galatea Gynoid

Whenever anyone asks if I'm a bot, I say, "Yes, got a problem with that?" :p

Galatea Gynoid

Bots are a lot more difficult to determine that that, Adeon. As a rule, your rule shows that false negatives are unlikely. What it fails to address is the real problem: false positives. It's often easy to tell that someone isn't a bot. It's virtually impossible to determine if something is one.

Sandy Sandalwood

Went there. Checked it out. Seemed real.

There were half a dozen dancers, hostesses and DJs all greeting people by name in local chat. Tons of patrons chatting.

El Sliven

I remember a time that I took my partner along with me to a "popular" nail salon. Once there we saw a half dozen or so green dots on our mini-map but not a soul in site. Further investigation found the avi's quietly snoring under water that the shop was built on!!!! I was still kind of a newb at the time and felt like that was surely a dirty trick...:/

Extropia DaSilva

Turing. And we still have not written a program or AI which is able to pass the Turing test, sorry.

Yes we have. We have not yet coded a chatbot that can convince a panel of psychologists that they are talking to an actual person, but ordinary people have been known to talk to chatbots for extended periods without knowing they are not talking to another person. In her book 'Life On The Screen', Sherry Turkle includes a transcript of a conversation between 'Barry' and 'Julia' (the latter being a chatbot) and although occasionally Barry expresses a suspicion that Julia might be a chatbot, her responses serve to persuade him she is another person.

Max March

Maybe we're ALL bots, Hamlet... Did that ever cross your mind? ;P

shockwave yareach

Extropia - so by your logic, conning someone who is gullible is still an achievement? Convincing ordinary people or even worse, less than intelligent folks, is perhaps a minor achievement. But I don't consider even the best chatbots as passing the Turing test until they can convince ALL comers that the chat is coming from an actual human being. Because if the bar for success is convincing just one person, you can find the stupidest person on Earth and get by with plain old Eliza.

The finish line is not convincing one person, but being able to convince all persons.

shockwave yareach

And the day we crack that turing test, I'll program the AI to talk dirty, and start up a 1-900 phone line to the computer. :)


I once knew a Sim owner who always was on his sim with 5 to 6 alts running at the same time. Every 30 minutes or so he would check if someone had spoken to them in open chat or IM and answer them. This reminds me of your story...

Ferd Frederix

Chatterbot programs have repeatedly fooled unsuspecting people into believing that they are communicating with human beings. The real question is, are they gay bots? Then they would be Turing bots.

I agree with Hamlet that the only way to tell if a avatar is a bot is to talk to it. And as Hamlet says, that is damn difficult to tell.

Another way to tell a bot is by their behavior (Snoring under the floor is a good sign it's a bot). But my bots don't snore under a table. I have two "avatar bots" out on my sim: one that chats and is a greeter, and a mermaid that swims around and leaps out of the lagoon looking pretty. They talk in voice, they chat (with white text), they walk, swim, and fly. They teleport. Many people talk to them and try to sell land. One of my bots has 93 friends now. I doubt any of them know they are friends with a bot.

Some of my bots use a Google translator, so they understand almost every language, and some speak (in voice) in 27 languages. They know they are a bot and they will tell you so.

Except when they are not a bot.

Whenever I want, I can chat with you thru the console. Its still a bot, but for a few seconds its not. How can you possibly tell?

Dr. Turing stated that the test would be for "computers that can play the imitation game so well that an average interrogator has no more than a 70 percent chance of making the right identification after five minutes of questioning." This means that fooling 30% of the average people would mean the contest has been won (not journalists and computer scientists such as are used by the Loebner prize).

This test was first passed in 1966 with the rather poor performing (by todays' standards) Eliza program.

Also, bots are legal as long as you do not violate the TOS or try to game the traffic engine by not marking them as bots. The Lindens prevent us from seeing the scripted agent status to really know what is a legal bot, and they now block the Agent tag so you cannot tell the client type. Just mark them as "scripted agent", and you can put all the bots you want out. Go ahead, fill up a sim, it's legal. just do not violate the TOS in any other way. Mine are marked as scripted agents, as I don't like people gaming the system, either.

Extropia DaSilva

>The finish line is not convincing one person, but being able to convince all persons.<

Yeah ok, fair enough.

Judging from the transcript, the chatbot 'Barry' communicated with was as- if not more- sophisticated than anything submitted to the Loebner Prize in recent years. Which is strange, because you would think ten years on chatbots would have improved.

There is a difference between talking to a chatbot and not being able to identify it as such, and talking to an avatar, getting no response and not being sure if it is a bot or if the primary is AFK.


Just today I've found out that stores still use the bot trick. I thought was illegal.
I've uploaded pick on my flickr:
I think it's a real shame, trick customers like that.

James Adams

I once knew a Sim owner who always was on his sim with 5 to 6 alts running at the same time. Every 30 minutes or so he would check if someone had spoken to them in open chat or IM and answer them. This reminds me of your story...

Posted by: Pienaar | Friday, July 20, 2012 at 02:34 PM

I know a sim owner who does the exact same thing at the Ohana Rock Club!!!

Ferd Frederix

"Bots per se, are allowed and have legitimate uses". (from the official Linden policy at http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Bot_policy

Secondlames' flickr pics (uploaded July 22, 2012) show what appear to be many people in a sim. But these cannot be current pics, as the visible viewer tags were stopped back in February 2012.

Regardless of that, I am sure that people do try to use bots to game the system. Bots apparently do count towards traffic, as the official policy states that "In calculating traffic scores, the number of visitors include bots". (last edit date was 8 July 2011). This may be out of date information, as search is always being worked on, but it is official policy.

So bots are legal in Second Life, provided they are marked as such in the account settings, and that they serve "legitimate uses".

How a legitimate use is determined, no one knows, as the 'scripted agent' status is unavailable to us mere mortals, and I assume most people don't know of this setting, so they don't set it.

I think bots are an impossible-to-fix problem.

Ferd Frederix

Looked at the bot chat logs this AM, and now she has a date with a Brazilian guy this Saturday morning!

I wonder if he will bring her prim flowers?

free website traffic bot

great post

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