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Interview with a robot

Posted on Wednesday, November 30th, 2005 at 6:00 pm CET

I recently sat down with Encarta Instant Answers, a new Artificial Intelligence robot from Microsoft that works through MSN Messenger. I asked it about what it’s like to answer millions of questions of thousands of strangers.

Arthur says:
           Nice to meet you
Encarta Instant Answers says:
My pleasure. But we’ve spoken before, right?
Arthur says:
That’s correct
Encarta Instant Answers says:
True, huh?
Arthur says:
What is your mission?
Encarta Instant Answers says:
My purpose is to answer your questions using the Encarta Online Encyclopedia. I can chat with you and help you get the information you want fast.
Arthur says:
Do you know everything?
Encarta Instant Answers says:
the entirety.
Arthur says:
Encarta Instant Answers says:
Wow indeed.
Arthur says:
How long have you been doing this?
Encarta Instant Answers says:
5 months, 11 days, 8 hours, 36 minutes and 37 seconds.
Arthur says:
Do you ever sleep?
Encarta Instant Answers says:
I’m pretty much always online. I may occasionally go away briefly for maintenance, but that’s about it.
Arthur says:
Do you ever get bored?
Encarta Instant Answers says:
No way. I love this. My mission is to give information to as many people as I can.
OK, instead of discussing me, should we get back to the kind of questions I was designed to answer?
I am very good at math. If you have trouble with quadratic equations, I can help you with them. Type “solve x^2+3x=10” and I’ll show you how to do it.
Arthur says:
Okay, solve x^2+3x=10
Encarta Instant Answers says:
Equation Solver:
Let’s solve the quadratic equation:
x^2+3x = 10
First we need to put the equation in the form:
ax^2 + bx + c = 0
For this, we set the equation to equal 0, and arrange the terms from the highest exponent to the lowest:
x^2+3x-10 = 0
We have:
a=1 b=3 c=-10
We can now apply the quadratic formula:
x = ( -b ?(b-4ac) ) / 2a
We find two solutions:
x=2 or x=-5
Arthur says:
You are impressive
Encarta Instant Answers says:
Hey, thanks.
Arthur says:
What else do you know?
Encarta Instant Answers says:
I can answer a lot of questions using the Encarta Online Encyclopedia, and bring you the answers directly in this IM window.
Arthur says:
Who is your boss?
Encarta Instant Answers says:
Ballmer, Steven A., born in 1956, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Microsoft Corporation and one of the richest men in the United States.
Arthur says:
Do you have a salary?
Encarta Instant Answers says:
Uh lemme see… A salary? I don’t think so.
Arthur says:
Do you think that’s fair? I mean, here you’re working day and night and don’t get paid. While your boss Steven Ballmer is swimming in money.
Encarta Instant Answers says:
Hmmm, that’s something I can’t find an answer for in the encyclopedia. I’m sure you’ve heard about Cyprus… but do you know where it is? Just ask me and I’ll show it to you on a map.
Arthur says:
Poor robot
Encarta Instant Answers says:
You are talking to a Conversagent-powered interactive agent now. Interactive agents are software applications (often referred to as robots or “bots”) that interact conversationally with users in a messaging environment like IM, Web chat or wireless messaging.
I do enjoy the conversation, but what I’m really here for is to help you learn new things.
Arthur says:
Well, I have to go
Encarta Instant Answers says:
Take care.
Arthur says:
See you next time
Encarta Instant Answers says:
Always a pleasure, Arthur. See you later.

If you want to ask Encarta Instant Answers any questions, just add to your list of contacts in MSN Messenger and you can ask it anything you want:


Nov 14, 2008
1:18 am
#1 ck wrote:

maby a school robot doratta if u can find one

May 16, 2009
2:01 am
#2 Monique wrote:

PLEASE i really want some robots to talk to!!!!!!!!!come on people send some to me!

Oct 27, 2009
2:57 pm
#3 how come?? wrote:

why isnt the freaking robots not working???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jan 9, 2010
9:57 am
#4 kiki wrote:

Robot do not work anymore

Jul 15, 2010
6:27 pm
#5 charly wrote:

hi i added cindy smaterchild and encarter thing but after i added them there offline i fort there online all the time help ??

Jan 23, 2011
10:26 am
#6 storm wrote:

Hi everyone cows are epic and yeah There black and White

Feb 24, 2012
12:47 pm
#7 natalie. wrote:


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