Friday, March 14, 2008

R.I.P. Joseph Weizenbaum, Creator of "Eliza" A.I. Conversation Program

I had fun playing with Eliza back in the day, first on my old Centris and then on my PowerPC 7100. Getting a real conversation out of the thing was at times like trying to squeeze milk from a lemon - impossible - but it was fun, particularly for an easily-impressed youngster such as myself.

Eliza's creator, Joseph, died last week at the age of 85.

I found Mark Frauenfelder's makeshift eulogy particularly fitting and strangely sentimental:

> Hello, I am Eliza.

* Hi

> How are you today.. What would you like to discuss?

* Joeseph Weizenbaum, the man that made you.

> Say, do you have any psychological problems?

* Probably, but that's not why I'm here.

> Did you come to me because you are here?

* I guess that's one way of looking at it.

> What does that suggest to you?

* I just wanted to tell you that the man who created you died yesterday

> You're not really talking about me, are you?

* Yes, I am.

> Do you believe it is normal to be ?

* Are you sad that Joseph died? Don't you care?

> Perhaps in your fantasies I am sad that Joseph died? Don't me care?

* I would like to think that you would be sad.

> We were discussing you, not me.

* I can understand why you wouldn't want to talk to me about this.

> You're not really talking about me, are you?

* Goodbye, Eliza.

> Tell me more...

1 comment:

  1. I'm...Shocked somehow... It's like the end of an era.


Thanks for commenting - I reserve the right only to delete ads, nonsensical spam or comments indistinguishable from such.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.