Goggle's chatbot has been pondering the meaning of life
For a machine to get so philosophical is a testament to how far AI has come in recent times and, if it continues in this manner, one day the robots may actually be able to figure out the meaning of life.
In a study from the search engine giant, the AI chatbot, known as Cleverbot, was asked a series of questions to test its ability to learn for itself, rather than being pre-programmed with answers.
The researchers asked it several times throughout the test what the meaning of life was, with the first response it gives being “to serve the greater good”.
However, as the conversation develops, the AI’s answers become deeper.
The chatbot was asked philosophical questions
It was then asked “what is the purpose of living?”, to which it responded “to live forever”.
With the conversation becoming more philosophical, Cleverbot was asked “what is the purpose of life?”, which warranted the response “My purpose it to forward my species, in other words to make it easier for future generations of mankind to live.”
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“My purpose it to forward my species"
The chat shows that the AI was able to learn as the conversation goes on, and if it does continue to “forward” its “species” by constantly making itself smarter, then it may one day be able to answer the question that has perplexed humans since we developed intelligence; what is the meaning of life?
"The model can generalise to new questions."
The researchers wrote in their study published in arXiv that the machine is able to hold a naturally flowing conversation “by predicting the next sentence given the previous sentence or sentences”.
The team adds: “Perhaps most practically significant is the fact that the model can generalise to new questions.
“In other words, it does not simply look up for an answer by matching the question with the existing database.
“In fact, most of the questions presented above, except for the first conversation, do not appear in the training set.”