New Media Summer Quiz 2010

The theme of the 2010 summer quiz is classic quotes by artificial intelligences and other conversational pieces of software. Here are seven quotes (A-G), most of them quite old. Try to identify who (1-6) said what.

(Yes, that’s right, there is one quote that shouldn’t get an attribution. Otherwise it would be too easy.)

A. I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
B. You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.
C. How do you do. Please state your problem.
D. I’ve left for you a message of utmost importance.
E. By “it”, I assume you mean the block which is taller than the one I am currently holding.
F. I am a machine of simplification.
G. People get on my nerves sometimes.

1. SHRDLU (an experiment in natural-language processing). By Terry Winograd, 1968-70.
2. Parry (a cognitive simulation of paranoid schizophrenia). By Kenneth Colby, 1972.
3. Colossal Cave Adventure (the first text-based adventure game). By Will Crowther and Don Woods, 1975-76.
4. HAL (the onboard spaceship computer H-A-L 9000 in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey). Directed by Stanley Kubrick, 1968.
5. Myst (the seminal graphic adventure game). By Rand and Robyn Miller, 1993.
6. Eliza (a parody of nondirectional psychotherapy). By Joseph Weizenbaum, 1966.

Joseph Weizenbaum and conversation partner

Pairing up A-G with 1-6 may not have been much of a challenge, though. Here are some bonus questions for the truly devoted.

– Why was HAL called HAL?
– The gameplay in Colossal Cave starts in the central dome of the Colossal Cave. True or false?
– Why did Weizenbaum write the Eliza program?
– What did Weizenbaum learn from writing Eliza?
– How many of the seven conversational agents quoted above (A-G) would be deemed human in the Turing game?

Photo of confused guy by Jamarr (CC-By).