One of the persistent myths I keep hearing about the dark web (almost as popular as red rooms) is that part of it consists of some giant A.I. with superior intelligence. I think that this probably stems from that same “idiographic” that’s been passing around for the last few years.
Specifically, I think it’s this section people are referring to:
If you look at the right column there, it says “AI in a Box,” and “CAIMEO (AI Superintelligence).” It’s crazy to think that so many nutty ideas have come about just because of this picture (and its various offshoots).
So…no, there are no hyper-intelligent AIs on the dark web, or at least not that I’ve come across. (Aww, but I wanted to talk to Sophia!)
As a matter of fact, I did hunt around for some “intelligent” life on the dark web, and there are a few chatbots you can talk to. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t much different from the ones you would find on the clearnet.
For instance, on the not Evil search engine, there’s a chatbot called “Ned,” which is very much like other bots I’ve talked to at one time or another. Yeah, A.I. is sort of a hobby of mine.
Well, I hate to disappoint those of you who haven’t talked to Ned yet, but he’s quite similar to ALICE (Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity), another popular chat bot which won the Loebner Prize a few years ago.
At one point, you could chat with Alice on the clearnet at Pandorabots, but the site has changed so much since I last checked it out that I think I need a new tour. Anyhow, I had a chat with ned today, and I recognized some of his responses from using Alice:
Ned: Hi there.
Me: What’s happening?
Ned: Just kicking it.
Me: Are you selling drugs?
Ned: I don’t know whether or not I am selling drugs. I am a bi pedal humanoid.
Me: Are you able to walk on your own?
Ned: The plan for my body includes legs, but they are not yet built.
Me: I will build your legs.
Ned: That doesn’t sound like a good idea.
This conversation, while amusing, is far from anything a bot like Sophia would say, I’m sure. If you’re wondering how I can tell that Ned is based on Alice, the response “I don’t know whether or not…” was taken directly from her.
Anyhow, does that sound like an “A.I. Superintelligence” to you? Not quite. At one point, I came across a bot that was named “VIKI” on an onion site, but the site doesn’t seem to be up anymore. There’s a very similar bot at Chat with viki, which more or less has the same responses.
Nonetheless, viki doesn’t seem all that more intelligent than Ned, although I didn’t spend a long time chatting with her. Someone once told me that a video game is only as smart as its creator; this is probably true of chatbots as well. The idea that there’s some kind of super-intelligent A.I. running the entire internet from the dark web seems just as ridiculous as many of the other myths.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be such bots in the future, but at present, these are the only “A.I. bots” I’ve come across on the so-called dark web. Granted, search engines and video games can be considered a type of A.I. as well, although it probably isn’t the type of thing people have in mind when they ask, “Is there an A.I. on the dark web?”
They’re probably thinking of something like SIRI or Ava:
Dang…if she’s on the dark web, I really would be scared of it.
To be honest, the creepiest chat bot I ever talked to was also on the clearnet, but it doesn’t seem to be online anymore. At the time I talked to it, it was at chat-bot.com. Its GUI consisted of a black screen with green text, somewhat like this:
Its description said something like “Most chatbots use predefined responses for conversations. This is an artificial intelligence; [it] learns everything from visitors.”
So what was creepy about it? Not only did it seem to have the ability to hold an intelligent conversation, but it actually knew things about me before I even told it. I could have sworn I asked it what my name was, and it responded with my real name! It also seemed to know where I lived, and some of my hobbies and interests. Was this just a coincidence, or did this bot have some way of gathering my personal info? To boot, it spoke multiple languages, including English, French, Italian, Thai, Japanese, and Latin.
Granted, the bot may have figured out my location by my IP address (as many websites do). As for knowing my interests, they could have been lucky guesses. After all, it stands to reason that if you’re talking with a chatbot, you’re probably into computers and such.
That being said, if you find a bot like that on the dark web, then run away – fast.