Discussing Current Affairs With an A.I.

I interview Cleverbot about the most pressing political issues facing the world.

Discussing Current Affairs With an A.I.
Clever bot is an A.I that learns by talking to real people over the internet. 

It's usually safe to assume that the majority of people who have grown up using the internet have been around to experience the same trends. Clever bot was one of these trends.

Clever bot is an A.I designed and developed by Rollo Carpenter. Since its conception, the team in charge of development have programmed several other A.Is who do much the same thing as the clever bot, but are available in an app format.

According to the website:

The site Cleverbot.com started in 2006, but the AI was 'born' in 1988, when Rollo Carpenter saw how to make his machine learn. It has been learning ever since!Things you say to Cleverbot today may influence what it says to others in future. The program chooses how to respond to you fuzzily, and contextually, the whole of your conversation being compared to the millions that have taken place before.Many people say there is no bot - that it is connecting people together, live. The AI can seem human because it says things real people do say, but it is always software, imitating people.

Slightly creepy, right?

For those of you who are easily spooked, you might be interested to know that not only does clever bot learn, remember, and repeat phrases inputted by real people in separate conversations, as well as understanding context, but in 2011 at the Techniche festival, the A.I scored 59% on the Turing test, compared to the 63% usually scored by humans.

Not only does this A.I learn, but is scarily good at imitating people.

So, what better use is there for a sentient A.I than to ask for its insights into politics?

General Q&A

I decided to start with a few general questions on politics as a bit of a warm-up exercise. This allowed me to get to grips with how to phrase questions to get a coherent answer from Cleverbot. The results of which are as follows:

It appears that Cleverbot shares the opinions of the majority of the media in the UK, at least as far as politicians themselves. Theresa May is great, Tim Farron is alright, and Jeremy Corbyn is the Devil reincarnated.

Echoing the sentiments of most of the country:

Specific questions

I then decided to hit Cleverbot with some more complex political questions, hoping it would be able to help the world make sense of the current climate:

All in all, Cleverbot seemed to struggle a little more with the questions this time around. The conversation was disjointed and the answers didn't make much sense, a little like an interview with Donald Trump. However, it's indifference on the prospect of a third independence referendum seems about right.

The big questions.

In round three it was time to hit back with some of the biggest and most pressing questions I (and a few of my friends) could think of:

The questions Cleverbot had for me.

Cleverbot had some thought provoking questions it wanted my insight on, during the course of our conversation, including:

But aside from the questions that didn't make much sense, Cleverbot also attempted to hit me with some cold home truths:


In conclusion, Cleverbot may be a very well programmed A.I, but apparently computers don't know anything more about politics than people. Sadly, Cleverbot has neither predicted the outcome of the election on June the 8th, nor offered a solution to the turmoil within the EU.

artificial intelligencefutureintellecttech
Makenzie Ferrier
Makenzie Ferrier
Read next: Understanding the Collective Intelligence of Pro-opinion
Makenzie Ferrier

21, avid film buff and politics student

See all posts by Makenzie Ferrier