Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Facebook Wants to Make Chatbots More Conversational - Science

For all of the buzz over the past couple of years about how chatbots are revolutionizing the way mobile devices deliver information, enable online purchases and deliver customer service, these artificially intelligent apps still aren’t much for conversation. That’s because the ability to achieve natural dialogue between person and machine—one that involves more than simple commands and canned responses—is still very much a work in progress. Facebook hopes to change that, however, by creating a shared platform to train machine-speech systems.

Scientific American:  Facebook Wants to Make Chatbots More Conversational

What's the single most irritating thing about CNN after the pundits?

Videos autoplay and they talk.  To make it even more irritating, it takes multiple clicks to make those furiously-annoying CNN videos stop.

The videos have no value because they're way too damn slow.  Almost anyone can read faster than a pundit can do much of anything.  Talking pundits just waste time and that yak contributes nothing to the information.

Ed:  they have value to people who like being spoon fed!

So what when people who need to be spoon fed have no value unless they're under about twenty kilos.

What's the single worst thing you can do to your home computer other than running Windows for the NSA or setting it afire?

Right, adding SIRI so it talks.

Go ahead, just waste my fucking time.

SIRI's only value is to ask it impossible questions like whether it's possible to have sex with a water balloon without getting wet.

Is there anyone except Dear Abby who gives a flying fuck if a robo is pleasant.  I don't give a fuck if it likes me; I just need it to get down to whatever it is supposed to do and be silent about it.

How far can we be from robos which start talking about opening up and sharing feelings?

Ed:  what's wrong with sharing feelings?

Online in front of a billion people?  That's not sharing but blaring your shit on a megaphone.

You're not going to stop the Age of the Robos but it might be cool if you focused on them as utilitarian beasts which may do intelligent things but why should I give a fuck if it enjoys it or thinks anything whatever about doing them.  Just fucking get it done.

Earlier, an elevator started barping at me because I and some others were too slow in disembarking and that machine thinks it has a right to get bad-mannered and express its displeasure.  I don't need bad manners from a machine when that sort of thing is so easy to find at (fill in your favorite source).

But ... get this melodrama to close.

A sound chatbot development strategy is crucial for the technology’s development. Chatbots will become crucial for the survival of future messaging, support or frontline service programs as automated chat systems enter widespread use—with an important caveat, Hayes says. “Chatbots can dramatically improve [customer service] systems and act as a force multiplier for human effort but also carry the potential to destroy user experience and brand reputation if prematurely deployed.”

- SA

After all, we have just fucking loved the chatbots which greet us on automated telephone systems and that crucial technology ensures we know through the entire dialog, the corporation just does not give a fuck.

Ed:  they're too strapped for resources!

Well, that indicates a company which isn't run worth a shit, doesn't it.

It's the same with the cop about corporate computers running slowly today.  They always run slowly today because the executives don't give a fuck enough about your time to upgrade them.

In a typical corporate mainframe acquisition they will aim for that which they so predictably call 'the best of breed' but that's an illusion because it's not all that difficult to project increasing workloads to determine when that computer will, as sysfrogs so predictably say, 'run out of gas.'  However, the executives may take anywhere up to a year or more to make a decision on a significant mainframe acquisition and, at their lethargic pace (i.e. needed to collect as much graft as possible), the existing mainframe(s) will be so far below 'out of gas' as to be a daily embarrassment to the systems crew.

Welcome to 'the computer is running slowly today' and I know the truth of it from thirty years at high levels.

This chatbot type of technology isn't crucial for anyone's future ... except to slow it down and deliver it at the lowest common denominator.

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