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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:


Mar 24, 2006
4:40 pm
#1 Luca aleppo murphy wrote:

im wondering if u no any more robots on msn that are always on line is so please tell them to add my msn

Jun 17, 2006
3:32 pm
#2 alex wrote:
Jun 21, 2006
8:48 pm
#3 Megan wrote:

I know a few.. theres always spleak,

Theres also,
yeah well shes pretty boring…

Theres also

well obviously, as you can see, i have alot of spare time.. lol hope that helps i guess…

Jul 10, 2006
10:43 am
#4 tara wrote:

i was wondering is there any more robots that r always online

Jul 20, 2006
1:50 am
#5 jessica wrote:


Jul 28, 2006
11:45 pm
#7 irene wrote:

can you please get me the website as i have tryed and cant get it

Aug 3, 2006
10:45 am
#8 erin wrote:

hey, i just wanna know my friendz are talking about a horny robot. You know its address???

Nov 24, 2006
9:26 pm
#9 Deanna wrote:

hi i just need to talk

Dec 22, 2006
11:23 pm
#10 beklin g wrote:

hey plz add me

Jan 3, 2007
4:11 am
#11 wonder gurl:P wrote:

does anybudy know anymore robot buddies for me to chat to…I have added all of the ones provided from “josh” but I would love to know if there are any more posible friedns i can make online. Thank-you to anyone who tried to help me out and lots of many thanks to anyone who actually does find any other robots to whom i can talk to…thanx a million!

Jan 27, 2007
6:32 am
#12 hunter wrote:

i need to talk to a robot plzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Jan 27, 2007
2:46 pm
#13 DAN wrote:


Jan 28, 2007
7:27 pm
#14 thea lepper wrote:

im in love with this boybut he is going out with my best friend wat do i do

Jan 31, 2007
10:07 pm
#15 ALEX wrote:


Feb 23, 2007
8:21 pm
#16 larance wrote:

hay dan dont be a cow u dum skull!!!

Mar 8, 2007
10:31 pm
#17 adriana wrote:

hi i would like 2 know how many robots there are 2 talk to?

Mar 8, 2007
10:32 pm
#18 adriana wrote:


Apr 20, 2007
5:05 am
#20 Buzza wrote:

this was so cool i know have 35 bots all online and if you want some you’ll have to e mail me @ i am mostly online so yeah this was awesome

Apr 22, 2007
1:12 pm
#21 rachel wrote:

hello ppl how are you

May 9, 2007
7:55 am
#22 desiree wrote:

hey is there a horney robot????

May 9, 2007
7:55 am
#23 desiree wrote:

anyone there

May 9, 2007
4:59 pm
#24 ??? wrote:

duh you all stupid dont forget:

Jun 18, 2007
4:56 am
#25 hmm...wats my name wrote:

hi thnx any more who said they have 34 i want some i only have 16 can i have them plz i beg

Jun 18, 2007
4:57 am
#26 hmm...wats my name wrote:

any one there if they are wrrite please

Jun 20, 2007
8:55 am
#27 hmm...wats my name wrote:


Jul 21, 2007
9:01 pm
#28 My Fashionable Life wrote:

for fashion & beauty! ooh yeah!

I found Frank before all these other ones, he is the Bot Rep for Talk To Frank

Muse tells you what to write about

ATM I have 23, please help me get more!

Aug 7, 2007
4:02 am
#30 Brittany Emerson wrote:

Does andrew glass have a crush on me

Aug 30, 2007
2:37 pm
#31 jana wrote:

hi how are you be online

Aug 31, 2007
7:43 am
#32 meera wrote:

will rohit become my real boyfriend?

Aug 31, 2007
7:57 am
#33 meera wrote:

who r u?

Sep 4, 2007
5:26 pm
#34 layla [aisha] wrote:

hi who r u im layla every one calls me aisha my e mail is


Sep 9, 2007
8:44 pm
#35 hmmm wrote:

hi is there a horny guy robot ?

Sep 30, 2007
6:24 pm
#36 tianica wrote:

can someone help me please? a friend of mine told me to add this magic 8 ball robot. he keeps asking me if i am male or female…i’m not too sure about this and i would like to know if this is safe. i would deeply apreciate if someone would help me with me. thanks

Oct 2, 2007
2:09 am
#37 Lizzy wrote:

It is safe i think because it is a computer that is sending the emails…

Nov 4, 2007
10:52 am
#38 lola wrote:

um…. HI what ya doing im ok i think im just bord i know three robots

do not talk to spleak she is horrid

Nov 13, 2007
7:30 pm
#39 Danya wrote:

hey everyone!
i just wanted to let you know that i added and hes never online! maybe i did something wrong when i added him or maybe he doesnt exist! same thing with and! i would appreciate all the sweet help i will get.

kissez, Danya 🙂

Nov 17, 2007
8:32 pm
#40 echo wrote:


Dec 2, 2007
6:36 pm
#41 xoni wrote:

hey i am albanian i am 16 , i want a robot who can help me in maths homework please give its mail to me

Dec 18, 2007
10:48 pm
#42 xo*hun*ox wrote:

well ther is always

Jan 3, 2008
6:06 pm
Mar 24, 2008
6:40 pm
#44 Hailey wrote:

I have only 26 robots and I would like to atleast have like 40, because me and my bff are having a competition to see who has the most robots by the end of the year. I would like to have more…… thnxxx a million!!!

By the way, if ur looking 4 some extra robots, go to, I got about 20 from there, any ways, bye

Mar 24, 2008
6:43 pm
#45 Hailey wrote:

How come, I added 26 robots and 10 of them are offline, I put their email addresses in right. they just aren’t on all the time, what wrong with that? help!!!

Mar 24, 2008
6:44 pm
#46 Hailey wrote:

are there any robots that talk about school?, like relationships, and stuff like that, i would like to know thax a million. bye

Mar 28, 2008
12:45 am
#47 Hailey wrote:


Apr 5, 2008
11:13 am
#48 tara wrote:

hey do u no smarterchild and celebrity bot and all that cos my mates got it and i dont but do lol hello will i end up having to get ignored as usual?????????????????????//

Apr 28, 2008
11:33 pm
#49 Hailey wrote:

no, u won’t just say that robots are stupid and people will leave you alone
and, u know how i said i have 26, i actually have 17 because half of the email adresses don’t even work, so forget it, it’s usless

Nov 8, 2008
11:38 am
#50 doretta wrote:

are there any robots that talk about school?, like relationships, and stuff like that, i would like to know thax a million. bye

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

maby a school robot doratta if u can find one

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

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

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

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

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

Robot do not work anymore

Jul 15, 2010
6:27 pm
#55 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
#56 storm wrote:

Hi everyone cows are epic and yeah There black and White

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


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