Friday, July 1, 2011

Cleverbot. Interesting Idea.

I am sure a lot of you have tried Eliza - the chatbot. You'd type something and get a pre-programmed response. It was fun.

I recently hear about CleverBot, try it out
The guy who wrote this in 1988 had thousands of conversations with it, and since going online in 1997, it has had over 20 million conversations. That's probably more conversations that the most fascinating human being you know. So when you are talking to it - it is getting a response based on a conversation it has had before.

It can be very silly sometimes, but the idea is fascinating.

As per WikiPedia
Cleverbot differs from traditional chatterbots in that the user is not holding a conversation with a bot that directly responds to entered text. Instead, when the user enters text, the algorithm selects previously entered phrases from its database of prior conversations. It has been claimed that "talking to Cleverbot is a little like talking with the collective community of the internet"

Monday, June 27, 2011

India and Pakistan

Recently I needed to get some programming work done. Scarcity of time sent me looking for a free lancer. I wrote out the specs, posted them online and a few developers sent in their quotes.

The lowest quote came from a Pakistani fellow. His credentials and portfolio looked decent, so I thought - "What the heck!?", lets try this out. My specs were very detailed, the whole India -Pakistan hostility would not matter in a simple one page project, right?

As this Pakistani dev started working on the project, I tried to encourage him more than I normally would at the start of the project. He responded saying - he would get this small work done in a few HOURS. I was impressed with his confidence.

The next DAY he sent in his first draft. It had more mistakes than I could make even if I was trying deliberately. I was pissed off as I copied lines from the specs pointing out the problems. As I wrote down the feedback I thought - I could have written the code for this in the same time I am spending giving the feedback. I wanted to cancel the project.

However, strangely, a part of me made me feel like I am leading the Indo-Pak peace talks and saying or doing anything negative will be bad for the greater good of humanity. My friends laughed at me as over the next couple of days I spent an hour each day teaching this guy basic things like Validation, filters, avoiding SQL injection and more.

At the end of it all I gave him a small bonus, I wanted to end the relationship on a good note. It seems crazy to me now, but I felt I needed to compensate him for the extra time he spent(Which was his fault).

Today I just went back to this free lancing site to look at this guys history out of curiosity. I saw that I was the only positive rating he got out of the 5 projects he completed.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

On Left and Rights

I recently saw a girl playing bowling at FunTantra and struggling. I thought of guiding her and told her to raise her RIGHT hand. She looked back at me with a confused look and said - "This one or this one ?"

Something like this does not amaze me, as Rubal, who is one of the smartest people I know amuses me with her inability to distinguish between left and right so often. She'd solve the most complicated puzzles and when I ask her to turn right in the car - she'd look back with anger and say - "WHICH SIDE?! Your side or my side ?!"

One of the favorite incidents related to this is from my friend Kuldeep. He was out shopping with Rubal and Tina and when they were walking out of the store Kuldeep told them we are going 'Right' next.

As soon as they walked out a shocked Kuldeep saw that he was alone and the two girls were walking in the opposite direction. Confused for a moment and double checking the direction - he concluded it was the left and rights dilemma. The girls in their own innocent minds were mad at Kuldeep for telling them to go right and then going in the wrong direction!

Another incident from last year was when Rubal and I were driving to Tina's house. I asked Tina for directions from the main road and she said - "Take two rights and then a left, its very easy".

So I did that and landed up in some village.

Then I called Tina again and she said 'let me explain it to Rubal'. She told Rubal "Take two rights and then a left, its very easy". So Rubal guided me the rest of the way and surely enough after two left turns and one right turn we reached Tina's place!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Interesting Customers

A conversation from our new Gaming Center - FunTantra

Customer:'Awesome place! Can I buy that gaming system from here?'
Rubal : 'Yup'
Cust : What's the cost of that system?
Rubal: That's a PS3 with move, its around Rs 23k
Cust: Will I get a LCD with that? (pointing towards the 90k Full HD 50" screen)
Rubal: No, you can attach it to your own TV.
Cust: Oh, okay. Will I get that wheel with it? (Pointing towards the force feedback simulation racing wheel)
Rubal : No, sir - thats a separate accessory.
Cust: Oh, then what will I get for Rs 23k ??
Rubal : You will get the PS3 console with Move controller
Cust: What's a console ?
Rubal(Now getting frustrated) : Its that thing you put a game CD in.
Cust : oh Okay! Then can I put it in my own DVD Player ? I mean I put DVDs in it all the time.

And that was the last time Rubal visited FunTantra.