Wow! You know, using stupid instant messaging systems like AIM or ICQ has got to be the most inhuman and unresponsive means of communications ever invented by people. And just to show how amazingly inhuman it can be, somebody created AOLiza!
Here's the deal: the guy who runs fury.com
happens to have a very common 4-letter AIM screen name. It's SUCH a common name
that tons of random people send him messages asking if he's their friend Betty
or seeing how the Toyota is running or whatnot.
It got totally frustrating for him, but he turned lemons into lemon meringue
pie with a clever hack. He stopped using the handle for his own personal IM
system, and instead hooked up an AIM BOT to the screen name instead! He first
took a Perl version of the classic AI program "Eliza", which
simulates a particularly annoying therapist-type person. He glued this into AIM
with some AppleScript magic and VIOLA, AOLiza was born!
The AMAZING part is that the general level of intelligence of AIM users is
sufficiently low that even with a low-grade AI program like Eliza, people can
spend HOURS talking to a bot without recognizing its bot nature. Fury.com has
assembled the logs for several of the best of these conversations, which are
available at the link below. Beaujolais for AOLiza!