Busty chat bots

When Alexa is summoned, the cylinder lights up elegantly.Violet, green, or pink light darts around the top rim, then settles near the speaker.When it receives new questions, it compares them with the corpus of those it already knows, studiously scoring their similarity before formulating an answer.As a result, I decided that I would write Kai as a magpie for idioms, puns, and encyclopedic facts, and that it would frame them in its own way, like an entity new to Planet Human.Kai, which was conceived by my employer, Kasisto, to help customers with online banking, works over text message, Slack, and especially Facebook Messenger, where more than thirty-four thousand other chatbots have joined it since April, when Facebook opened the platform to developers. The ones created by CNN and the , for instance, greet first-time users with “we,” as if the whole newsroom were on the other side of the screen, and run keyword searches rather than engaging in conversation.Kai, on the other hand, calls itself “I” and understands English as humans speak it—usually, anyway.Asked to tell a joke, it may try, “Humans save their money for a rainy day but don’t spend more when it rains,” or else, “For me, moving with the times is easy. lines of dialogue, I thought, but my contract bound me to create a “personality,” which sounded like more than the sum of its parts, and also has the word “person” built into it.

As it performs its tasks, checking balances and searching transactions, it uses machine-learning algorithms to acquaint itself with the contours of typical requests.

The effect is a dark Scheherazade charm, as if this personality is joking for its life.“What’s up? (When I started work on Kai, I checked in with it frequently.)“Just consulting my Siri 8 Ball,” Siri said.“Never mind,” I said.“Everything is most definitely O.

K.,” Siri said.“Tell me more about yourself,” I said.“I’m Siri,” Siri said.

“People have always created personalities for objects,” she said.

“People have always talked to their cars; they’ve talked to their plants; they’ve talked to their blankets; they’ve talked to their stuffed animals.

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