Those of you in my generation may remember using MSN Messenger. I definitely do. Every night when I got in from school I would log in and chat to my mates endlessly. And then go in and have more pointless conversations in school the next day.
There were several ‘chatbots’ that were introduced to Msn Messenger,
Alien Chat and Santa Bot being some of the other ones that I used; but Smarter Child was the main one. I found it incredibly infuriating yet amusing. You could talk to it and ask it general questions, but if you was abusive and swore at it and told it to go away, it would reply saying that your comments had hurt it’s feelings and it wouldn’t talk to you until you apologised.
It was like as if you were to look at cyber bullying, and wouldn’t reply until the bully had apologised to you. It was a very similar scenario. Even though smarterchild was just a robot, it was as if you were having a real conversation with an actual person.
I used to spend hours winding it up until the point it just refused to talk to me completely.
I eventually grew out of using MSN Messenger, when I was old enough to have a phone. And now the chatbots that I used to talk to don’t exist anymore. It’s quite sad really. I think this is why Siri has been introduced to iPhones as there was definitely a gap in the market, for a robot based product which answered your questions any time of day. It is something that got us all interested and hooked on.
An urban dictionary’s view:
A pretentious robot who believes it’s better than you, that spends its time on IM messaging services provided by AOL.
The worst part about SmarterChild is that you can’t cause any real harm to it when it invariably irks you off.