Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Taken from "Affectionate Technology" by Philip Agre

On a humorous, but nevertheless significant note: A friend of mine created a computer "character" that you could converse with in written English. One of the things he found that was crucial to making it seem human was that it not listen to you very carefully. It had its own agenda and invariably it would bring the conversation around to, say, its sick grandmother living in Arkansas. No matter what you talked about, eventually the grandmother that lived in Arkansas came up. It is rare that computer scientists have not-listening as a design goal--but it is a human characteristic.

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