Dre forwarded me this article from McSweeney’s: Scott McClellan’s Replacement: AOL Instant Messenger Bot SmarterChild. It’s a well done piece. SmarterChild is, in fact, an actually chatterbot available on the AOL IM network. Based on reading the article, it looks as if SmarterChild’s response script is based on the Eliza code with a number of tweaks.
I’d love to know if Michael Brady actually used SmarterChild to generate the final text for the article or if he’s simply writing using the style of the “bot genre.” If that’s the case, then it’s a pretty nasty recursion: a person writing like a bot who, is in turn, is written to appear if it were a person.