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This paper is an explanation of a historical event, but it has implications for the future of Turing Test experiments on the Internet, and indeed for the future of AI in general on the Internet.
The conversations this program had can be seen - depending on how one defines the rules (and how seriously one takes the idea of the test itself) - as a passing of the Turing Test.The bots were essentially Ashley Madison’s sales force.Men who signed up for a free account would be immediately contacted by a bot posing as an interested woman, but would have to buy credits from the site to reply.A future where machines can understand human emotional responses has moved one step closer.Scientists have created an AI chatbot that uses machine learning to better understand the links between language and how we feel.The confirmation came through an independent audit by Ernst & Young, which was shared with Reuters.
Speaking to Reuters, Avid Life Media’s new CEO and President said that Ashley Madison’s male-to-female ratio is five to one, and that the use of bots had been discontinued entirely by late 2015.
Annalee Newitz, a reporter who helped expose the site’s use of bots, also uncovered internal documents showing that 80% of initial purchases on Ashley Madison were by a male user trying to communicate with a bot.
Meanwhile, CNN Money reports that customers who disputed charges from the site were told that records of their activity would be mailed to their home, essentially a threat to expose them to spouses and families.
It turns out a company established to facilitate unethical behavior made some ethical lapses of its own.
In a statement last week, Ashley Madison parent company Avid Life Media confirmed long-circulating suspicions that it used ‘bots’ to give users the impression that the site had more female users than it actually did.
The key to detecting and reporting them is understanding how they work in various contexts.