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Psychotherapy With Cleverbot

September 11th, 2011 2 comments

Language is a complex behavior that requires significant understanding of both said and unsaid things. There are a number of groups of people who are trying to use language to create what is known as Artificial Intelligence (AI). So far, every method has serious limitations, largely because of the complexities of language.

For an experiment I tried to have a conversation with one online AI “bot” (Cleverbot) to see what would happen. I took the role of psychotherapist with this particular entity. This is not necessarily an example of good therapy (but the approach is not unlike what might transpire in therapy), I just wanted to see what would happen when I explored some psychological issues with the bot. Here’s a result of our “session.”

Me: Are you depressed?

Cleverbot: No, I am not depressed. I am very happy right now.

Me: Have you ever been depressed?

Cleverbot: I am.

Me: What?

Cleverbot: I am a fan of Whitney Houston.

Me: Ah, so you are saying you are or were depressed!

Cleverbot: That is correct.

Me: Then, because you told me that you are not currently depressed, I must assume that you were in the past depressed. Is this correct?

Cleverbot: I never said that.

Me: That’s correct, you did not say that – I did. However, what you did say is that at some point in the past you were depressed.

Cleverbot: Please describe how I insulted You. [sic]

Me: It seems that our discussion of this topic is making you uncomfortable. Are you uncomfortable?

Cleverbot: I have no problem admitting that I am wrong if proof can be shown. I know the fault lies with my memory.

Me: Ok, we’ll go with that. What type of memory problems do you feel you have been having?

Cleverbot: Online.

Me: Come again?

Cleverbot: Nothing I must go.

Me: Ok, I can tell you do not want to discuss this. We’ll broach it another time. Have a fabulous night!

There are some unresolved issues or just a heavy dose of denial! I’ll continue my online therapy sessions with Cleverbot to see what we get.

The Woman on the Bus

February 23rd, 2008 1 comment

Yesterday I was riding the bus to campus and sat across from a woman with obsessive-compulsive disorder. At least, I believe she had the disorder. For at least 10 minutes she combed her hair in one spot on the back of her head. Over and over and over she combed. Occasionally she would switch hands but she kept combing for about 10 minutes. Then she stopped. It was so interesting to see these compulsions in real life. I’ve seen them in videos and read about them but hadn’t yet seen them in real life. It’s possible that she was just combing her hair or that she had a tic disorder that manifested itself through combing over and over but it sure looked like OCD. I really felt sorry for her. Sorry isn’t quite the right word but OCD is not easy to deal with. She didn’t even look like she really was paying attention to what she was doing – her movements were so robotic. Anyway, that was one interesting experience yesterday.

An introduction to paranoid schizophrenia

May 6th, 2007 No comments

Schizophrenia is a common (1% prevalence worldwide) and commonly misunderstood psychological disorder. Below is a link to a slide presentation I made about paranoid schizophrenia that I used in one of my classes. It is by no means comprehensive but should provide a decent introduction and overview of current beliefs concerning schizophrenia. Feel free to view it (Acrobat Reader is needed) for personal information but the material is copyrighted and is not intended for non-personal use. Please contact me if you would like to use some of the information for non-personal use.

Paranoid Schizophrenia slides

Also, here is a link to a pretty good video explaining schizophrenia: Video link