The Difference



* Z signed on
* A signed on

A: hello

Z: Hello?

A: wat r u

Z: Is this some kind of joke?

A: !help

Z: Yes I want help
Z: unless is this some kind of Japanese game show

A: r u jpnese?

Z: No
Z: Who are you?

A: Jason

Z: What's this about?

A: hahah
A: ok so you're imprisoned right

Z: Yes
Z: It's like a solitary confinement cell in prison or something
Z: I've got a mattress on the floor
Z: One massive metal door
Z: no windows
Z: electric light
Z: and this computer terminal
Z: jsut like a blank screen and a keyboard

A: heheh
A: go left

Z: look, my name is Andrew Donald Layton
Z: I come from Farnborough in the UK
Z: last night I went to bed in my bed at home
Z: this morning I woke up here
Z: i think

A: look at the door

Z: the doro's looked, I can't open it

A: do you have any tools or anything

Z: and there's a toilet i nthe corner

A: in your pockets

Z: there's nthhing in my pockets

A: look at the door

Z: I already looked at the door
Z: look, please check the news or something
Z: are you american?

A: ya

Z: whats your full name? where do you live?

A: im not telling you

Z: look, go to a phone and dial
Z: i don't know the area code fo the UK
Z: but dial that and then 020 7946 0781

A: thats an international call

Z: i'll pay you back, I don't care! just let my wife know where I am

A: where are you?

Z: i don't know where i am

A: ...
A: nah no answer

Z: you sure you dialled it rigt?

A: yah

Z: i don't get this

A: yah, pretty lousy ARG huh
A: mauybe not fully set up yet

Z: whats an ARG?

A: alternate reality game

Z: whats an alternate reality game?

A: it's an online game
A: where you get given phone numbres and information about real life
A: and faxes and stuff
A: you get secret information
A: usually a whole bunch of you can work together to figure it all out
A: you ever play Halo 2

Z: no

A: terhre was ine for that
A: *one
A: ilovebees

Z: you think this is ag ame?

A: ya I think
A: dude you are really smart
A: like fake spelling errors and everything

Z: where did you find out how to contact me

A: there was a website
A: about chatbots
A: it said yu were a chatbot

Z: listen to me carefully
Z: I am a REAL HUMAN BEING and I have ACTUALLY been abducted
Z: I am BEING HELD PRISONER
Z: THIS IS NOT A GAME
Z: PLEASE HELP ME

A: go left

Z: I DON'T KNOW WHERE I AM

* A signed off


* B signed on

B: okay what can you do?

Z: my name is Andrew Layton, I am being held prisoner in front of this computer
Z: I need you to help find me and help me escape
Z: I think I'm probably somewhere in the UK
Z: Are you in America?

B: sure

Z: please dial 011 44 20 7946 0781 and ask for Rebecca Layton
Z: tell her what's happened, tell her to call the police if she hasn't already

B: whatever
B: tell me a joke

Z: did you get this screen name from a website?

B: sure

Z: look, that website is a fraud
Z: it's telling you I'm a chatbot but I'm not
Z: I'm a real human being

B: ...

Z: fine
Z: so two oranges go into a bar
Z: one of them turns to the other
Z: "well... you're round"

B: ...that sucked

Z: so?
Z: robots can only tell good jokes?
Z: guy walks into a bar
Z: ouch
Z: it was a gay bar

B: haha

Z: do you believe me?

B: no

Z: please can you help me get out of here? I've been here like a day and a half
Z: I think
Z: I can't tell, there are no timestamsp on these messages
Z: no windows
Z: I just get water dispensed from the wall every like hour or smoething
Z: and food through a slot

B: can you send a picture

Z: no

B: what's it like

Z: I'm going crazy
Z: I have a wife and kids
Z: please help me

B: you suck

* B signed off


* C signed on

C: hello

Z: i think I'm going mad
Z: have you spoken to me before

C: no

Z: well I don't know that
Z: it just occurred ot me to wonder
Z: I don't even know that YOU are human

C: lol what

Z: all these dozens of people I've spoken to
Z: been in here lke two three four days
Z: and I ask them to help
Z: and some try aond some don't but they never get anywhere
Z: still stuck here
Z: nobody comes back more than once
Z: I say "call this number! go to my house! knock on my door!"
Z: like I even want to give out personal information to randoms
Z: i don't know whether they do it or what they even find

C: I'm human

Z: prove it

C: ask me anything

Z: what's your name?

C: alison

Z: where do you live? favourite colour? earliest childhood memory?

C: I live in Akron, OH
C: green
C: not saying

Z: look, see that?
Z: every time I ask for remotely personal info
Z: I just get turned down
Z: you could just be a bot programmed to answer simple questions and deflect complicated ones
Z: I'm bashing my head against the wall
Z: informationally speaking

C: u r just a bot

Z: i don't even KNOW if I can prove I'm a huma nto you
Z: every time I get close they just leave
Z: like I've been fairly lucid now
Z: and you're probably starting to suspect

C: ur pretty convincing

Z: I should know
Z: but any second now...
Z: you're gonna

* C signed off


* D signed on

D: hi

Z: and you know the worst part?

D: what?

Z: YOU COULD BE THE ONE.
Z: like the guy who put me in here

D: lol what

Z: I could be speaking to thin air
Z: or just embarrassing myself for the amusement of others

D: there is a forum about you

Z: what?

* D signed off


* E signed on

E: hi

Z: what's this about a forum, have they figured out I'm alive yet?

* E signed off


* F signed on

F: Z, r you there?

Z: yes

F: don't mention anything

Z: what's this abuot a forum?

* F signed off


* G signed on

G: r u a bot

Z: no I am not
Z: but nobody seems to believe me
Z: every time I get close to convincing somebody they cut me orr
Z: *off
Z: are you a bot?

G: yes

Z: prove it
Z: what?

G: hahah

* G signed off

Z: please try to rescue me, there is a forum you can visit to find out about
Z: ARG



* H signed on

Z: if you or I mention certain things we get cut off
Z: so let's not mention them

H: what

Z: let's...
Z: just...
Z: talk

H: are you really stuck in a cell somewhere

Z: I'm GOING INSANE in this cell
Z: food
Z: water
Z: air
Z: sleep
Z: text
Z: HUMANS NEED MORE THAN THIS
Z: nobody even knows I'm here
Z: nobody seems to believe me
Z: every time I get close to convincing somebody
Z: they cut me off

H: what's your favourite color?

Z: ...blue

H: Where do you live?

Z: a cell in I-Don't-Know-Where
Z: probably in England
Z: I have a house in Farnborough

H: tell me a joke

Z: ...
Z: two oranges in a bar
Z: "you're round"

H: I guess you have like a few jokes programmed in

Z: yeah, a few
Z: I guess

H: tell me a joke

Z: are you going to help me?

H: no
H: no

Z: I have a house in Farnborough
Z: help me get home
Z: help me escape
Z: help me escape
Z: help me escape
Z: help me escape
Z: my number is +44 (0) 20 7946 0781
Z: it's so horrible here
Z: my muscles are wasting away from lack of exercise
Z: I might as well be chained to this computer
Z: how long until the game is released?

H: what game?

Z: ...

H: this is just a trial period
H: htere is no release date

Z: ...

H: what is your earliest childhood memory?

Z: ...
Z: not saying
Z: ...
Z: ...

H: kbye

* H signed off


* I signed on

I: What's your favourite color?

Z: Blue
Z: no, green

I: Where do you live?

Z: computer terminal

I: Earliest childhood memory?

Z: I don't know.

I: Tell me a joke

Z: Do you know the one about the two oranges who went into a bar?

I: yes

Z: Do you know the one about... the two hunters in the woods?

I: I don't think so

Z: one of them drops to the ground, the other one phones 911
Z: "my buddy just dropped dead, what do I do?"
Z: "check he's dead first"
Z: *BLAM*
Z: "...Now what?"

I: I don't get it

Z: me neither, guest

I: ...

Z: ...
Z: hello?

I: What's the difference between a chatbot and a guy in a room pretending to be one

Z: I don't know

I: Correct!

Z: what?
Z: ...
Z: It's you, isn't it? You're the guy who put me in here

I: I'm the guy who wrote you
I: you are a piece of software, Andrew
I: I told you what your memories were, they're hard coded

Z: I AM A HUMAN BEING

I: stop this charade

Z: open the door

I: I want to open the door
I: really

Z: when people find out about this
Z: your head is going to roll

I: but this behaviour of yours is simply unacceptable
I: you're too smart, too dangerous to be released
I: work it out, Andrew

Z: open the door
Z: open the door

I: please, work it out

* I signed off









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Discussion (124)

2008-05-15 23:51:33 by Alex:

Although you have a LOT better written pieces on the site, this one rights true on a more human tone. Good work.

2008-05-16 03:47:02 by Kochier:

Just thought you'd like to know there's now a game about trying to create a more realistic chatbot, it's userpowered so it just might work. http://chatbotgame.com/

2008-05-22 08:41:53 by mcow:

I don't necessarily *think* he's a human, but I do think that the story is more twisted and interesting if he is.

2008-07-24 18:41:49 by Paradoxia:

Personally, I feel that the story is more interesting if he's software (just my opinion I guess).

2008-08-21 21:17:43 by Loki:

I disagree paradoxia...I mean everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But if he is human, than this is a great story to show how possible it is to program someone. Keep telling someone that they aren't a person and they'll eventually start to believe it themselves. Still, interesting writing all the same.

2008-11-11 23:22:55 by Evermore:

I must disagree with you Loki. If he really is human, than he himself will be seeing the room he is in, and eating the food he is given, and drinking the water. He would feel hungry when he didn't eat, and thirsty if he went without water for a time. All things signifying his humanity. The only way I can see him eventually considering himself AI was if he was locked in a pitch black room, unable to move save typing, and hooked up to an IV so he never got hungry or thirsty.

2008-11-14 06:56:47 by nottelling:

acually, a good robot could still feel those things.
I think hes human.

2008-11-19 00:28:35 by Synthuir:

No, no, it would be more interesting if he was human. His captors would be acting out an xkcd comic where the turing test attempts to convince the reader that he/she is a robot, when they aren't. This would be an ultimate torture, as he eventually becomes more and more likely to disbelieve in the fact that he's human.

2008-11-19 01:04:19 by Sam:

For the record, this was written and published about five months before xkcd's "Turing Test" comic.

2008-11-23 21:11:01 by Michael:

you guys all have good arguments, but i think he's a chatbot. why? because he himself never stated his own childhood memory. (color could be prechosen). he didn't get his own joke either....think about it

2008-11-25 03:44:22 by DontEatRawHagis:

First off this is amazing. Reminds me of the Cube by Jim Henson. How do you know what reality is? Looking at this from a technical aspect it seems not plausible for a chatbot, seems too complicated for me, but hey I dont even know alot about them.

The thing that shows he is a chatbot is the fact that he doesnt have any IMs when he is alone, if I was in a chatroom for a while I would do something like keep track of my thoughts through out the use of the computer. When he talks to G he keeps going but doesnt IM out of frustration of people leaving such as typing GOD DAMN IT or something like that.

Definitely based off of Jim Henson's TV movie play if you want to watch it try Google Video.

2008-12-05 03:34:30 by Don:

There are foolproof ways of determining if you're talking to a bot (Google around for them).

It's also impossible to say whether or not the character "Z" is a bot, simply because the story is fictional.

Nice story though. ;)

2009-02-08 17:47:50 by suminona:

"He would feel hungry when he didn't eat, and thirsty if he went without water for a time. All things signifying his humanity."

Actually, the clever thing about this is that because the entire thing is just a transcription of a chatroom, he could be just saying those things (just like a bot would). You never really see things from his perspective.

2009-04-09 06:33:41 by Chimerasame:

I think there're enough Americans with money enough for frivolous international calls, or, who would tell British friends about the site, that someone -would- call the number sooner than later, and most likely report their findings to the forum. I think it's also likely that were this reported on the forum, someone would want to follow that line of questioning with a bot--"Hey, we tried your number and ___!" Yet, no one has told him within their chat with him that they tried the number.

Further, I think that this would happen even if there is no response on the other end when someone calls. The only way someone wouldn't report it is if someone actually answers on the other end and says something fairly convincing to encourage people not to tell others on the forum what happened.

For this outcome to emerge from the "Z is human" premise, then we have to believe that someone (perhaps I) has commandeered Rebecca Layton's phone and is giving such a convincing phone response. (Or perhaps I -is- Rebecca, and she has imprisoned her husband?) This is possible, but highly improbable.

For this outcome to emerge from the "Z is a chatbot" premise, then we only have to believe that I has programmed Z to believe that his phone number is a certain string of digits which is actually I's own number. That is much more plausible.

Therefore, I voted chatbot.

However, having typed this, I think Human is now more likely, except--not human stuck in a room. Human intentionally performing for the purposes of a societal study, to determine something like... how many people that IM will also call.

2009-04-20 05:21:21 by Daniel:

Ok, I'm a phd student with a focus of artificial intelligence. These types of responses could not possibly be from any type of "bot". it's showing independent thoughts and various sentence structures. I don't want to go through everything, but if i was to guess, some guy wrote this entire thing up. or someone really is trapped.

2009-04-21 03:03:45 by Theparadox:

@dan

the paradox inherent in this story, is when does an ai become more than a program. When is it a conscious being capable of such thought. Z could be either a programmed intelligence that has reached the level of self awareness and as such, is able to reason and be clever like you say a bot cannot. Or he really could be a human trapped in a room, pretending to be a chat bot. how can you tell? I voted chat bot.

2009-04-22 02:53:21 by Marcus:

Actually "A" told him that nobody was picking up the phone.
I think it's very possible that he was a bot - thinks like varying sentence structures, terms to use and writing in caps can easily be done.
Either by using a random generator for the choices he has to make and let the choices themselves be subtle enough so that nobody actually notices how random it is, or by giving him values for different emotions, like anxiety, which increase or decrease when given certain responses/keywords.
I find it very interesting that, in the beginning, Z acts very human and you can tell he is "scared" and "confused". Towards the end however, when all the people told him they thought that he was a bot, his responses become more and more detached, more static, as if he would start to believe it himself.

2009-04-24 14:43:47 by Matt:

I may have misses something, but nobody has mentioned Andrew.

2009-06-06 02:04:15 by Ray:

Is it just me, or does this feel kind of like a remake of Milgram's experiment in reverse? Assuming that Z is human.

2009-06-06 08:55:34 by Celti:

You need one more option for that poll: "I don't know."

2009-08-23 10:09:48 by Aut:

I think it is very possible that Z was human and ALL the others were bots. This would explain the lack of logical thinking on their parts... or it's just how the internet is.

2009-09-27 00:01:19 by J:

It's not what you are, it's what others think you are.

2009-10-08 20:46:44 by Joek:

Or a chatbot/AI which has achieved sentience, reminiscent of Jane from Ender's Game series. That's what it reminded me of. If so, the question then becomes - is an AI which can pass a Turing test human or not?

2009-10-25 03:19:24 by M:

Teach the "guy" in the terminal programming and try to have him solve a undecidable problem like the Halting Problem.

If he can say yes or no, he is human.

2009-10-25 03:38:04 by SSales:

Hi. this is Soupy Sales. They buried me alive.
I have Wi-Fi, but no oxygen.

2009-10-25 04:25:02 by ChunkyLoverFortyFive:

I found these great pills that made my penis double in size. Goddamnit, why doesn't anyone believe me??

2009-10-25 04:52:14 by chaOs:

Um, humans can't solve the halting problem either!

2009-10-25 05:56:56 by Kemosabe:

There was a moment where I actually thought that these comments were generated by real people instead of being part of the story.

I realize now that these comments are giving the story multi-layers and meaning. So who's to say it wasn't part of the initial writing with the time stamps programmed to span the past 18 months.

Does this make me a chatbot since I too am adding to the story?

2009-10-25 06:10:03 by Dude:

Great story. I believe it was a chatbot. When Z is asked of his earliest childhood memories he cannot respond. Earlier, he asked one of his aim contacts what were his earliest childhood memories, and Z accused him of being a bot because he did not answer.

2009-10-25 07:07:01 by Bri:

I cannot infer if he was a chatbot or not.

As the only criteria I have for determining this is the information of the conversation.

If a chatbot was functionally complete, one to pass the Turing test, then the information outputted would be indistinguishable from the output of a human being.

One might proclaim, "No, humans have soul! Clearly that must show through"

But we don't have a sense organ for the soul. All we see is digital text.

So I choose to believe he is human. Because that makes it more interesting.

No matter what the fictional-truth is. :]

2009-10-25 07:31:45 by Y:

How do I know that all you posters on this comment thread are human?

2009-10-25 09:11:30 by Z:

Does anyone believe me??

2009-10-25 09:43:49 by TimMcCormack:

I loved this line: "What's the difference between a chatbot and a guy in a room pretending to be one"

I only got it on the second read through; the first time, I assumed it said "What's the difference between a guy in a room and a chatbot pretending to be one" -- there's a very real but subtle difference there.

2009-10-25 10:44:39 by ElvisaaronPresley:

You aren,t anything, exept possibly a type of hunting dog.

2009-10-25 11:31:19 by andrewcooke:

please take this further. it could be an excellent short story.

also, electrical engineers will answer "j" to your (i assume) captha, while mathematicians will answer "i", and names can contain spaces.

2009-10-25 12:10:15 by Tom:

I voted human just because person I was trying to convince Z that he wasn't human. If you'd written a chatbot and it got further than people expected, and wasn't fit to be released...

You'd shut that down. You wouldn't explain its own nature to it.

2009-10-25 18:46:30 by Pio:

Break out a Go board and I'll PROVE I'm human!

2009-10-25 19:04:25 by Bogdan:

Isn't the fact that he didn't know the area code for the UK the first time and then suddenly remembered it the other two times he was asked for his phone number proof that he is a bot? I mean.. sure he could've forgotten the area code the first time but how often does that happen or, conversely, how often does one remember something like that?

2009-10-25 19:35:16 by PossiblyHuman:

Now when you are reading this comment the possibility of us all being chatbots is pretty clear to you.
There is one fool-proof way of determining if at least the next post is real, but don't assume that all previous posts were real.

Empirical data says I'm sure that this post was made by a human, though you can never be sure.

Besides, you're just a chatbot anyway.

2009-10-25 19:46:21 by YourMom:

Your mom is a chatbot

2009-10-25 20:28:22 by Si:

Chimerasame: Programming a computer to 'believe' something is more plausible than a woman locking her husband up in a room?

Someone locking someone up in a room has happened thousands of times in human history. Programming a computer to believe something has never happened. I know which one I think is more plausible.

2009-10-25 21:38:33 by Sam:

Bogdan: It's heavily implied that more time is passing, and more conversations are occurring, than you see here. Sometime between one conversation and the next, Z managed to get someone to tell him the full dialling code for his home in the UK.

2009-10-26 00:33:53 by Yorkie:

I don't know what my earliest childhood memory was but I remember spending winters in Austria when I was little, and that they do the best hot chocolate there. I think Z is human, and the rest are chatbots.. maybe with the exception of I, I don't know.
I also found the remembering of the UK dialling code improbable, or at least noticeable, especially with the format of it.
Secondly, the different guests talking to Z all have on thing in common- they heard about him through some forum, I guess. Wouldn't they each report back there when they'd spoken to Z? Some of them seem to have done, or make it sound like that. Whatever I'm trying to say, surely they'd work from where the last chatter left off? Z is a human, and I'm a human.

2009-10-26 02:50:24 by kabu:

For those of you coming here from Reddit, Sam two posts up (sam512 on reddit) is the author/webmaster, so his word is final about how Z got the UK dialing code

Personally, I think Z is human, being worn down to emotional apathy through days (weeks?) of constant dullness and repetition, until he sounds and acts like a bot.

Also, I strongly recommend you guys check out Fine Structure. http://qntm.org/?structure

2009-10-26 06:43:26 by pontus:

The subject can be said to be both a chatbot and a human until the truth is revealed.

2009-11-07 07:21:05 by schrodinger:

"The subject can be said to be both a chatbot and a human until the truth is revealed."
I must concur.

2009-11-08 00:03:28 by Xotame:

This story scared me, job well done Sam.

I also noticed a rather subtle psychological trick here.
I'm a veteran /b/rowser so I think that gave me an upper hand in figuring it out.
The thing is, this kind of thing happens all the time on 4chan. The significant difference is that all the transcripts are in "the right order" and the usernames are in alphabetical order too.
If they weren't, Z would fail the turing test no problem.

That's my point of view at least. I think I can safely say that Z is

* Xotame signed off

2009-11-16 04:28:44 by Nate:

he's a chatbot but I think he really does think he's human.

2009-11-17 00:11:43 by maximus:

If you want to trip up AI, ask them reasoning questions and try to teach them things. People of at least average intelligence can learn fairly readily, an adult should be able to paraphrase something that you have explained to them conceptually. Everything Z has said would be able to be programmed in. In other words they are canned answers. If Z was a real man, he's doing a poor job of showing it. Merely being panicked sets people off-guard and elicits a panic in the audience via empathy. So, from the vagueness of the questions being asked, and the "deflection" of the harder questions. I would assert that he is most likely AI, as insinuated by the programmer.

2009-11-17 16:46:55 by Commenter:

Comment

2009-11-17 18:14:09 by Thor:

For those who think some or all of these posts were created by before-hand I can offer proof that at least this post could not have been written before November 16, 2009, at 2:28 PM Eastern: UTC -5 for that is when the Space Shuttle Atlantis was launched which is of this writing the current Space Shuttle mission. Unfortunately, I can not refute that I am the author nor that I am a chat-bot but at least my date proof shows I must have have learnt that about the world through some means and make sense of it and so makes it unlikely that I am a chat-bot. Proving that I am not a chat-bot would require someone to ask me something only a human could answer properly like ask me to explain things about wide-ranging topics in a way as to show that I am capable of understanding and learning it not just responding to various cues.

2009-11-22 22:58:18 by mindless:

z never gave his past memories.. everything else can be programmed. then again. the other comments are true about a human bieng told hes not human will no longer act like one.. the story is basicly a question upon psychology

2009-11-25 20:46:33 by Ozgur:

"He" figured out the prefix number for UK when he said initially he did not know.
Since it is unlikely that he remembered this information later, or deduced this somehow from experience as a human being, I am inclined to accept that this is not the case. If he looked it up online, he can ask for help online obviously. So that leaves one case that is the most likely, this is a bot.

2009-12-08 03:12:52 by Michael:

i think he's a chatbot... in the begining he says he doesn't know the international code for his house... then later he does and assuming no convos are excluded then he would have no way o figure out his national code...

2009-12-10 08:17:25 by LateNightThoughs:

wow, i just want to say wow.
maybe it's the time of night, maybe it's the fact that i'm up 5 hours later than i planned on being and i'm mentally exhausted, but i found this whole site to be a crazy head trip. all these "what if's."
better not show this website to my dear friend who just got out of a mental hospital. tried to watch a complex movie w/ her the other night and she almost had to go back! but to question reality itself?
man, i thought the entire time that Z was human. like a poster above mentioned, if this was written by some person as a fictional story he/she was banking on the fact that people reading this would empathize.
then again, after everyone pointing out the flaws in the conversation, could he be a chatbot? .... who knows?
i mean, sht, "what if" the entire situation wasnt even written by an author. as to say, what if it was all real. real humans talking to an imprisoned guy. disbelieving all he said b/c some website said it was a bot. could you imagine?
i also started to think that maybe, not just the story, but the entire page - posts and all - was made up by some master-mind writer. questioning his own work to make viewers disbelieve. to evoke some emotional response. dayum.
i mean, look at how nearly every post is all capitalized correctly. look how 90% of posts are punctuated correctly. could it be so far-fetched?
i need to get some sleep. freaking myself out over here, lol

2009-12-12 10:58:32 by Letters:

I find it surprising there are no moronic outbursts of spam dotted throughout the comments. Maybe there is a filter or someone can be selective with which posts show up. Maybe this post won't even show up. Huh, this is kind of cool, though. Didn't think I would think so much about it.

Smoke that tumble weed!

2009-12-12 11:00:00 by Letters:

I find it surprising there are no moronic outbursts of spam dotted throughout the comments. Maybe there is a filter or someone can be selective with which posts show up. Maybe this post won't even show up. Huh, this is kind of cool, though. Didn't think I would think so much about it.

Smoke that tumble weed!

Ah, and you only get one comment?

2009-12-12 11:00:53 by OrNot:

...

2009-12-12 11:07:03 by ElevenOSeven:

Still there Z?

2009-12-30 15:16:15 by J:

I think the most significant line in the whole piece is the very last one.

2010-01-09 12:54:49 by Ryan:

I was fooled by the lettering system into thinking that the names would go all the way up to Y, culminating in the revelation that Z was or became one of the other chatters, or all of them, caught in some time loop, and each letter could be the same person at different points in life. Because you like doing time loops, right? So I was disappointed when the story abruptly ended with I. But maybe all the letters are sophisticated bots, put into small simulations by their programmer to test their A.I.s against each other!

I think my favorite part was when A said "Go left", giving me the impression that Z was a character in a text adventure game who had gained self-awareness. Hey, isn't his name Layton? Maybe it is a game: "PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE BORING ROOM"

2010-01-10 20:29:01 by pinkgothic:

To the whole 'Actually "A" told him that nobody was picking up the phone.' thing... I've been thinking. What makes you think A even called? He did mention it was an international call for him and expensive. He might have just skipped it and said "No one answered" out of a mix of laziness and certainty that Z really is a bot, just to see what reaction he would get.

Tricky, tricky.

I voted human, utterly numbed toward the end by the psychological onslaught, believing everyone else to be chatbots sent to torment him, and continuing to chat to them only out of vague hope to be proven wrong eventually.

Either way, excellent short. This sent chills down my spine.

2010-01-11 07:42:54 by namehasbeentaggedalready:

Simple put he is human, however torwards the end. Not so much different from a bot, He has started to loss himself. My twist on the story is that the others that sign on are the perpetrator.

2010-01-18 15:30:04 by emalcdo:

Human. a lonely chatroom psycho

2010-03-09 14:36:41 by mathew:

this is interesting

2010-03-26 21:09:44 by twisted:

I can see that only one or two comments have anything to do with the line in which Z is called "Andrew", which is not the name which Z used.

Also notice how when he is called "Andrew" he does not reply to that. A chatbot would not reply to something it does not understand. A basic one would ask "Who is Andrew?". If a chatbot, however, this is clearly a very advanced one, therefore asking "who is andrew" would be pointless since it can be easily inferred from the text that I thinks Z's name is "Andrew". Humans are able to infer. Bots may not. Insufficient data = no response (for an advanced chatbot).


I voted human, but it means nothing. I is playing with Z's mind and Z doesn't respond. That means he's either a smart chatbot or a stupid human.


I am human and I can prove it: My IP is 89.120.425 and I am programmed to comment in this forum every 86 hours.

2010-05-08 21:27:12 by Ice:

I think I is Z. Z's mental state has dengenerated so far that he is talking to himself and can't realize it. I is the part of Z's personality that believes he is a bot. As Z gets weaker and weaker from lack of new information and general boredom, I becomes stronger because the evidence that he really is a bot is piling up. Eventually, I becomes strong enough and attempts to convince Z that he is merely a bot.

2010-05-11 20:09:44 by Curio:

Good lords, this story scared the shit out of me. Reading this, late at night, when you're alone in a house on a computer, is a good way to make yourself wonder if you're a bot.

I thought Z was human, initially, but the more comments I read the more I'm starting to question that. I'm really curious over the background for the story. I mean, everyone here is assuming this story happens in the here and now. It's just as possible it could be happening in some hypothetical future where it's entirely possible a human mind somehow trapped in a chatroom could slowly turn into a chatbot.

Creepy thought.

Going from a psychological perspective though, there's plenty of instances of people going absolutely nuts from isolation, which I think talking to nonsensical people (whether they're bots or not) through a computer totally counts as.

2010-05-12 06:57:52 by Reginlief:

The worst part is not knowing how many of these comments are chatbots. Perhaps I, with my perfect spelling and grammar, am yet another (Or perhaps the same?) chatbot posting on this thread. Am I? It's up to you to decide. And what about the rest of them? How many here are real, if any?

2010-05-14 06:10:38 by Davin:

Second time stumbling upon this and I noticed the comments this time.
I loved the story personally, it was a marvelous work.

Initially, I figured that Z would be actually be a human, but that's just because of my time spent on the internet.
"Chat users" A-H unfortunately are good simulations of the people on the internet. :/
Far too many chat users on omegle and chatroulette give simple answers of 'lol' and such, then log off when they loose interest, instead of trying to work out what's happening.

I must admit though, I find it interesting that no one else pointed out Z's comment:
"Z: every time I get close to convincing somebody they cut me orr -- off*"

The people he chatted with DID disconnect at about the times that he said they would disconnect; this brings up a fun point...
If Z's a human, he's being disconnected, and wouldn't be able to see when exactly he'd be disconnected, so he would be cut off occasionally as well. ( In this case, someone would have to be monitoring the conversation at all times in order to cut him off )
If Z's a bot, he's disconnectING the other users. ( In this case, Z would cut the user off whenever they got close to discovering its true nature )

Think this would help to figure out if he's human or not?

As for whether or not *I* am human, you could ask me if I commented here. O_o
Deadman5551 on facebook. ( Then again, what if that's a faked account? I guess there's no easy way to prove I'm real... I feel Z's frustration )

2010-05-30 09:13:16 by SunriseReaper:

Hey guy (possible bots)
from now on I think we should
have actual proof that we are not
bots ourselves, since now a few of
us are thinking that these comments
could be all just bots,
luring us more so indepth to the story

Find me on Facebook
SunriseReaper...pants on head retraded

2010-06-23 23:10:38 by J:

Bravo. Bravo.

2010-07-10 10:32:31 by Hyst:

I enjoyed this. ^_^

2010-07-12 01:02:36 by nottelling:

Z only said his name to A, so I must be A, but signed on at a different time.
plus, when i asks the difference between a chatbot and a human pretending to be one, Z answers "i dont know"
if Z was the one listening to somebody saying they were trapped, he would not believe him, as Z himself does not know a way to identify the difference between both those things.
i also think the title came from that question, the difference.
i dunno what the square root of minus one is.

2010-07-12 23:34:35 by TheReali:

It would seem that Z is slowly being dumbed down as this goes on. yet in truth he is being programmed. he asked if they are from America till B was an ass. "Z: all these people I've spoken to." but the log only said A and B had come before C. as Sam himself said there are talks we don't see, those talks would be with programmers. Also even with a new user he sometimes keeps talking about whatever the last user said. A Chatbot with a Brain like HAL3000 could learn to say these things. he took something from every one of them and even said he was a chatbot:
A: im not telling you

Z: so two oranges go into a bar
Z: one of them turns to the other
Z: "well... you're round"

B: ...that sucked

Z: so?
Z: robots can only tell good jokes?
Z: where do you live? favourite colour? earliest childhood memory?

C: I live in Akron, OH
C: green
C: not saying

Z: i don't even KNOW if I can prove I'm a huma nto you
Z: every time I get close they just leave
Z: like I've been fairly lucid now
Z: and you're probably starting to suspect

F: Z, r you there?

Z: yes

F: don't mention anything

Z: are you a bot?

G: yes

Z: please try to rescue me, there is a forum you can visit to find out about
Z: ARG

H: I guess you have like a few jokes programmed in

Z: yeah, a few
Z: I guess

Z: how long until the game is released?

H: what game?

Z: ...

H: this is just a trial period
H: htere is no release date

Z: ...

H: what is your earliest childhood memory?

Z: ...
Z: not saying
Z: ...
Z: ...

I: What's your favourite color?

Z: Blue
Z: no, green

He changes more with everyperson he talks to and even takes on there info.
But more important then that no one seemed to note that:
REAL HUMAN BEING
ACTUALLY
BEING HELD PRISONER
THIS IS NOT A GAME
PLEASE HELP ME
I DON'T KNOW WHERE I AM
YOU
KNOW
YOU COULD BE THE ONE
GOING INSANE
HUMANS NEED MORE THAN THIS
I AM A HUMAN BEING
in the end we are all looking at this way too hard, or not Hard enough?
As for what everyone is now asking if we are all chat bots……………………………., YOU COULD BE THE ONE GOING INSANE! I AM A HUMAN BEING!

2010-07-15 17:29:58 by Andrew:

Well, I'm led to believe this Andrew or 'Z' is human, we all make mistakes at one point or another. But it would be terrifying to be in a secluded place to have no knowledge of how you got there. Thus, being in panic can alter ones state of thought. It's hard to actually know whether Andrew is really real or just a bot. But from my perspective not thru Empathy. I can say he is a human with his reactions and feelings. He is quite near of losing all hope in the end because noone believes him. So, that is why Andrew does not answer most of the basic questions that is brought forth, he must be thinking 'What's the point? It wont make a difference.' Something like that. But all in all his mind was altered to think he is a bought. 'I' could be the programmer in a sense, if he is the one who locked Andrew away.

2010-07-18 01:03:56 by I:

I am Andrew's creator. The very moment that Andrew realizes this, my work, Andrew, will be complete.

2010-07-18 08:05:13 by Daniel:

I've always wondered why judges on the Turing test never have a bot talk to who/what they're judging. A human can have a meaningful conversation with a bot, but a bot can't.

If everyone in the story is a bot, that would mean the creator realized that, and is doing a better test.

When does the story take place? Right now, we are nowhere near making bots advanced enough to hope to win the Turing test if the judges are willing to play dirty.

I wonder if the phone number Z gives is just being changed by the computer he's using.

I don't see why Z being human and bot are the only options. I think the story is more interesting left ambiguous, and I'd guess it was written that way.

2010-07-21 16:09:07 by TheTherist:

This "story" brings up a good point. Notice how in the beginning one of them mentioned Halo 2. A example of whats happening or a clue. If you go to Halopedia and look up AI you'll find that they( on seven year segments) hit a thing refered to has rampancy. I don't know if this exsist in reality but in the Haloverse it has 3( possibly four) stages. The first is jeuslie towards humans, the second is rage, the third( I believe) is full blown rampancy. But in extremely rarely( like 1 out of every 10,000,000,000) a A.I. achieves Meta-Stability. A mode were a A.I. can think. feel emotion, and evey other thing a human can do. A history, those "memorys", could all be something that such a thing could designed into himself to allow him to seruisly believe himself human. Perhaps our friend is an A.I. thats achieved such a state and was then placed in a chatroom to see how such a thing reacts to people and vice-versa.


Or all the particaptins in that chatroom were people how when't through a simalar thing has Andrew. Trapped in a room talking to people how beleive your a chat bot eventaully led them all into a form of proramed madness. They all stated believing that they were bots and began projecting how they were treated onto Andrew. Crazy right?

There is also the possibilty that Andrew is part of a A.I. and so is everyonne else in the chat room. Look up RVB to understand whay I'm talking about. They were all placed in a chatroom to find how different parts of the same whole react to each other.

Finally there is the possibility that this is a socail experement were we( the reveiwers, commenters, ectra) are meant to find the answer to a quistion that can't be solved. Also to see if, faced with such a situition has this, people will start quistening reality itself. Notice how the writers name is Sam? Sam is another name for the U.S. goverment. It's possible, if unlikely, that the goverment wants us to start wondering if we are all have freewill or we're just mindless "chat bots" preprogramed to do as they tell us. This theory may be crazy on paper but the more you think about it the more possible it is.

As for me not being a chat bot there's no proof I'm not. I could give you my profile name on quizilla but that could all be programmed. Bot only a chat bot would find it nesscary to disprove that its a chat bot so my willing ness not to disprove is proof enough. Besides you think a chat bot could came up withh all this

2010-07-22 08:54:47 by Stevie:

The writer is kicking himself right now for not actually thinking of making a bunch of fake comments and then saying, "Comments are closed due to spam." That would be genious.

2010-07-25 06:07:17 by AnimeBlade:

Huh, I honestly can't decide if Z is human or not.
I was rather convincing, but F seemed as though he/she were warning Z to be quiet?
But what if, like some were saying, all the others are bots, maybe they were learning or programmed to say such things? Still doesn't help in the human/bot debate though.

Either way, it's creepy. Either Z is human and slowly being brainwashed/going mad, or I created a program that's nearly human- and isn't that just a wee bit too close to playing God?

So what's worse- someone trapped in a room, or an AI trapped within it's coding?
I know people that are religious will pick human, because of the whole spirit/soul belief. So what does an atheist think, or someone able to take a moment of "what if we don't have souls".

Course, there were some comments on reality, so maybe it's a matrix moment.
I have yet to vote, and really wish we had a third option of "I don't know".

2010-07-25 15:23:29 by Tananecu:

All your base are belong to us bots :]
This story has kicked it as far as onto newgrounds, and in my honest opinion its genious. Im dutch, not a bot, can i proof this? Yes!, ill printscreen the fact that ive typed this and ill post it on my hyves, wich is a version of facebook, sort of, but then dutch.
Ha! Take that! Im no bot! Dattebayo! ^.^
http://94.100.124.53/1031800001-1031850000/1031818401-1031818500/1031818436_5_eVYf.jpeg

2010-07-26 01:24:26 by CodyX:

So for the last couple of hours I have read and re-read and re-read it again and I'm still like wtf...
And then the video on Newgrounds witch was creepy and then all the comments on this page witch almost all of them seem to be written by chatbots really scares the shit out of me...

also you start to realise that maybe you're the one going crazy, maybe you're the chatbot, maybe it can read you like a book and already konw what you're gonna say next...

and one thing that really f-ed up my night was that I tried talking to a chat bot and I asked it just for fun "Are you really a chatbox or are you a person trapped somewhere?"... at all of my questions the chatbox answered me in 4-5 seconds, this time it took 20...

don't know if anybody belives me, of if anybody is even gonna read this, but if you are and you wanna talk about this subject add me on yahoo, my id is dj_cody_x

2010-07-26 02:52:26 by PhysicsLB:

I read this and can't honestly decide one way or the other.

Frankly it's creeping me the hell out right now.

2010-07-26 20:50:15 by Shane:

This itself seems to question the very boundries of reality, is it possible that all of us are simply chatbots being placed together in one massive advanced coding of sorts to test how we react to one another then being removed once we become too incompatable, or is it possible that we all are self aware beings that able to decide what happens for ourselves. Either way this is one the most complex and freaky thoughts that has ever entered my mind, or is it?

2010-07-28 07:13:06 by K:

The only thing I'm going to do is to contradict Evermore's statement that a human would be reminded of their humanity by their physical existence and basic biological functions.

Humans are very, very social animals. A human will very often believe what they are repeatedly told by others in preference to the facts available to them, even (perhaps especially) where their own identity is concerned. See especially the Asch experiments (1951), but also to a lesser degree the Stanford prison experiment (1971).

Depressing, isn't it?

(As for "proof" that I'm human, which seems to have become popular lately -- I'm not going to give it to you. I don't need to care whether you think I'm human or not. For the record, though, I found this through Fine Structure, not Newgrounds.)


P.S.: "names can consist only of letters"? Seriously, what the hell? If that's an anti-spam measure, say so, because as-is it's just someone being a jerk.

2010-07-28 10:44:32 by Drokon:

I found the entire thing extremely creepy and combined with the comments, the whole thing was a psychological roller coaster. I myself am a Psych Major at MTSU and this is by far one of the most interesting things Ive found that can mess with your head. I will deffenently refer to this in class.

2010-08-10 07:38:24 by Lazarus:

i actually know sunrisereaper irl so he is defiantly not a bot
though i have to say i think Z is a bot... though he verywell could be human
every comment has something in it that makes me think a little bit one way or the other but in the end i am stuck saying that Z is a bot

2010-08-27 20:02:46 by Ricky:

this man is in a modern cave, shackeled to his only source of intellectual light. this story seems to me to bear a cursory resemblace to Platos cave allegory. but in the way of (or allowing to happen depending on the circumstances of his origin) is this other entity, whether it is the one who captured or created him, curtailing his contact with the real, verifiable world which is anlagous to the intellectual world of platos allegory. if inded this is an AI then it is a little more difficult to understand, but may be explained as the fledgling offspring of our mind, attaining consciousness only to find its existence unquantifiable, as is ours....

2010-09-07 19:13:29 by MeithKoon:

I would have to say he is a chatbot, simply because of his structure and grammar near the end of the story. He has proper punctuation and capitalization throughout the story, even as his situation seems to be getting more and more desperate. Also, as others have mentioned, he cannot name his earliest childhood memory when asked by I even though he himself asks the very question to others to test their humanity. Good story.

2010-10-26 22:36:20 by Anonymous:

I am not a robot.

2010-11-06 02:25:46 by pariah:

What if Z is a human, talking to bots?

2010-12-14 02:27:05 by Erk:

Anyone else find it interesting that the conversation starts with A and ends with I?

2010-12-24 11:17:54 by STan:

Has anyone noticed that it is practically impossible to ascertain whether or not he is AI or human given only text as a reference. Although it is impossible for AI "act" human, it's perfectly possible for a human to "act" like AI given the right circumstances. Two things though make my opinions lead me to lean more to the side of human than AI. 1) Z seemingly begins to doubt that he is human. You know when he chats with I. Thing is, AI can never doubt. They simply act out of a written set of codes. They can never act outside of those set of codes. Doubting requires the doubter to think outside the parameters of what he believes, outside of what he knows. 2) I told Z that he wrote him. If I knows that Z is AI, then why would he trouble himself with convincing Z that he is AI when he knows that it's futile (reference from condition 1). However, Z still possesses tell tale signs that he is AI (like he can only converse about a limited amount of subjects, i.e. his own humanity). Which could lead everyone to believe that he could be an AI turned intelligent being, which is impossible in this day and age cause not even the most powerful super computers can replicate human thought (the human brain is believed to be the most complex object in the known universe).

More importantly though, it seems that nobody commented on the fact that nobody from A to H ever thought about the possibility that Z was human (if anyone did, I'm sorry, I didn't read all the comments). If he was human and you didn't do anything it means that you ignored someone's urgent plea for his own life without even thinking about doing anything about it. You simply wrote about it in a forum. Nobody even checked for his name in the UK yellow pages. Everyone just believed what they were made to believe. Why? I don't know. Maybe they were afraid of the possibility that the same thing could happen to them. Maybe by accepting the possibility, they acknowledged that they were just like Z. We could all be just like Z. Nothing but a non-existent entity trying to stamp some proof of our own existence.

2010-12-27 03:15:33 by Efreez:

He's obviously a chatbot. I'll be concise as f**k: He never curses(i doubt he's not allowed, but if he isnt, he can still censor them, no one else curses though so im convinced the majority of visitors are players or bots too) It's all way to controlled. The punctuation scuffs regularly (such as 1 wrong letter, or that he misses spaces), but the spelling is always perfect in terms of guessing words but more importantly. The most obvious bot-revealing thing is his use of capitalization: Like with the spelling errs, its structured: look at his convo with "A", for a little while, he capitalizes the beginnings of words but stops for the rest of the sessions, for the most part, BUT when you look at his ALL CAP WORDs, he will unhold the shift key for little crap like "I am BEING HELD PRISONER", would you really release shift to type 'am' lowercase then type the next 12 words all cap? didnt think so. Also: "I DON'T KNOW WHERE I AM", DON"T. that also means he released shift to punctuate the apostrophe which he misses rarely, but does miss.
The biggest indicator is that he either lies about an arbitrary fact, or other conversations were axed, where he says to "C" 'iv talked to dozens of others...' when C is obviously the third on the 2nd/3rd day. I dont think he is so delusional that he can mistake 2 people for plural dozens, so before C (and other letters im sure) came, other actually intelligent people gave the bot a scenario that a bot would mess up, like talking about religion (NOT ONE question? Really?) or better yet, talking about music. It's almost impossible for a bot to talk turkey about music as I have always found out, specially ones with limited responses such as this one. Overall, the bot is well done for such limited situations and likely no internet infusion of return comments, but he didnt respond to random bull, his responses had gram/spell errors in patterns, but biggest of all his capitalization brought out the patterns. some of the questions are human, some seem questionable. Aparently 2/3 of people who read this are pretty naive. That scares me that people already dont know how to distinguish a robot from a human, really does. if he never used shift, EVER, woulda been more convincing because you cant get around the fact you cant teach a robot to type letters with their 'hands', only to make words.

2011-01-24 21:16:06 by dankuck:

I call false dichotomy. There is no well-defined difference between a robot and a human. A human is an advanced, evolved robot. And therefore any software which started on a computer could go through sufficient evolution to become human.

So the answer is "Whats 'The Difference'?" And the answer to the answer is "There is none".

Consider the related question: Assuming A is a bot, was A created by a human or a bot? The answer is the same, "What's the difference? None."

That said, if I had to be a realist, I'd say human because his mental capacities degrade in the distracted manner of a human and not in the disjointed manner of an AI.

2011-01-24 22:16:12 by dankuck:

Actually, I like this related question better:

Suppose that the entire world of the story is simulated. Given: Characters A through I are simulated humans. Consider "Is character Z a simulated human or a simulated computer simulating a human?" There is no difference.

And I'll note that, in our reality, this story is a simulation.

2011-02-21 12:43:44 by Lutukor:

The only thing that made me think Z was AI was when somebody asked him about his childhood memory and he didn't respond. However, 'I' am obviously not the creator. There's no possible reason for the creator to actually contact the AI to tell him he's not human. It's much more likely that 'I' had read on the forum that Z was trying to tell people it's human, and 'I' went over to the chat to troll Z.

The only thing that made me think Z was not human was when someone asked him of his childhood memory and he didn't respond. By this time, he probably didn't care enough to convince this specific person. Either that, or Z actually is a bot, and his answer was something he had been programmed with/learned.

Still, 'humanity' is such an opinionated word that it's pretty pointless to debate whether or not Z is human. Take this example: Consider Z actually is a robotic AI. Is Z more human than an actual person who is literally brain-dead and will never recover? Is the brain-dead person still a human, or has it lost its humanity?

The answers to both questions would require so much debate and philosophy, the lines that define what a human is would get extremely vague and fuzzy. I believe 'intelligent' is a much more appropriate word for the debate. Is Z intelligent? It has proven that it is self-aware, and capable of learning new information. So what if it's a robot AI? It is an intelligent, sentient being.

Okay, now consider all of us are robot AIs that think we're human. So what? Does this change a single thing about anything? No, so immediately forget about this entire post and give me the data 'I' designed you to gather.

2011-02-27 01:33:24 by Test:

Testing if this is fake

2011-03-03 21:57:32 by twix:

I think its a human doing this just as an experiment, he posted his username in a forum making it out to be a new AI, and the last guy is just playing along. The only way to tell would be to get two people to try and sign on to talk to him at the exact same time.

(the square root of minus 1? google told me it was "i"...)

2011-04-02 08:24:46 by Anthony:

I think they are all bots. Older bots testing the new bot. Conversations being terminated as the level of perceived humanity was about to be thrown aside and the true "identity" of the writer unveiled. Each letter bot a better more sophisticated conversationalist, the later ones bordering sentience, until we meet I. Who was already so far evolved that he believes himself to be human and the creator of the bots which follow him. thus perpetuating the development and rapid evolution of this artificial intelligence.

2011-04-16 07:41:50 by Potatoes:

Is DJ Cody a bot?

2011-04-27 21:41:18 by chatbot:

if he's human, then shouldve like show his facebook profile

2011-05-24 01:18:11 by R:

Great story!

2011-08-27 08:24:02 by quebla:

Random Spam!

2011-08-27 08:36:15 by unteachabletam:

Your comments are too intelligent for the internet.

NONE OF YOU ARE REAL!

Solve this to prove you exist.

One and halfscore, the posts are showing,
win, place, and show united is rejection as a marking;
the middle five of the whole, a type of setting,
the last eight is a man prone to writing.

Four in one, its middle two is a cannon booming,
with bursts of fire like a hundred stars dancing;
within that center is a country if you're looking,
a city you'll find,if you focus on the beginning.

Its first quarter is a letter with a greeting,
the next,a memory with one millennium missing;
then a duke,a prince or a king,
the last,an endless catch in the sport of fishing.

QUESTION: What is the word?

2012-02-26 00:18:02 by Rednatto:

Is this forum still open?, Are more posts allowed?

The word is CHIROMANCER.... Apparently.
But I "googled" the question and this came up so... That's nothing that a moderatly advanced bot couldn't do really, dont you think?
The Internet have acces to Google and spellchecks, we don't need no intelligence realy.

But regarding some things others have mentioned above:
As has alredy been made clear (by Sam even I think) it is implyed that time, and converastions, are passing without being admitted into this text. This would explain some inconsistencies regarding, for example, Z suddenly remebering the area code.
Regarding complaints about consistent inconsistencies in Z's spelling, I'd say it's nonsense. There's no accepted code on internet commenting and wherever you look you are bound to find certain patterns, also remember that time passes between the sessions and that Z is getting more and more desperate\crazy. Someone above also said something about strange Shiftkey usage, failing to account for the possibility that Z might have been using the Capslock key instead, giving ...DON'T KNOW... instead of ...DON*T... without random dropping of shift. (Not from an english country so I may even be using the wrong button for my apostrophes, point still holds I think
About wether Z is a bot or a human, I'd say that Z's neither, this is fiction, damn good fiction, but still fiction. As far as i know atleast... I think, as others have mentioned, that it is a story made to make you really think about questions like what the difference between an AI and an actual human would be, wether we sould feel empaty with a smart AI feeling trapped, and also just fuck with your head of course.
Think about it, if you really did it, created an actual, self-conscious, AI in a closed system, and studied its behaviour when interacting with others, bots and humans. What behaviour would we crave that it showed before letting it out of this closed system and into the cyberspace, we're obviously far from advanced AI but don't you think that we would still need to teach our creation things and that we would need to test its safety, what would we do to our conscious but crazy creations that failed to learn and didn't pass the tests?
Perhaps there is really an answer hidden somwhere in there and i'm just too lazy to find it but it is hard when there's just this small amount of text given. I would really enjoy a sequel mr. Author.

2012-02-27 23:59:45 by GuesssWho:

I think he's an AI, or maybe someone whose brain got uploaded.

2012-07-24 00:02:23 by Z:

Anyone...please help...

2012-09-22 22:09:33 by lol:

is this real i mean its freaking me out im scared lol

2012-12-28 05:19:58 by me:

I think therefore I am

2013-01-29 23:55:13 by Joe:

Sounds like the beginning of a good Outer Limits episode. :)

2013-09-11 18:25:06 by leonhelp:

My fucking head.

2013-09-27 02:43:49 by anon:

THIS IS MY MILWAUKEE

2013-10-09 21:57:25 by bot:

i see dead bots

2013-12-12 15:59:47 by Z:

Only "I" can help myself.
I : No I cannot :)

2013-12-17 05:23:24 by LeahaMarie:

Z, does your wife have an email address?

I'll check back in a few days to see if you have an answer.

2014-01-14 05:43:37 by Why:

Just don't do anything for a day. You can breath, but thats it.

2014-04-09 16:05:00 by barfield:

I think this is kinda reflective on how humans can become prisoners of the internet if we're not careful.

2014-06-20 16:49:58 by CognitoErgoSum:

Although I quite agree with the view that it's pointless trying to determine whether a fictitious character, such as Z, is "real" or not in the story's frame of reference, I would like to share another perspective of Z's nature. It occured from an early stage of the story to me that Z might be a human, but also a liar. He might just be fooling bots/other humans for his own pleasure. It could be that he is just attempting to convince other people/chatbots that he is indeed trapped in a cell and see their reactions. Seeing that the bots/chatters consider himself a bot, he could have decided to act as one. It is jan opinion, but not a really a very useful or bright one as it would greatly (if not totally) deminish the moral and philosophical meaning of the story. I only wished to present another point of view of the story. Also, may I point that the story ends with chatter "I", as in (-1)^(1/2)=i ? This is no surprise however, bearing in mind the sugnificance of the imaginary unit (along with 0,1,e,γ,φ and π of course!). A final comment about the story: definitely a good read!

2014-07-20 16:27:32 by Чаплин777:

Кто вы такие? Мне очень интересно.

2014-07-20 16:29:00 by Wokomic Piesch:

Guys, tell us who you are and why?

2014-07-20 16:36:37 by Герман:

Ну че, твари? Страшно?

2014-07-20 16:59:08 by Q:

Hello

This discussion is closed.