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Telamon

Good One-Liner Chatbot?

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Hey guys, I'm slightly unhinged, so the following (im?)practical joke appeals to me: I've got an email address that gets a ton of bogus emails. I wrote a bot to answer each email with a response returned to me by an ELIZA webservice I found that's hosted someplace in Germany. This works great, it goes through thousands of useless emails and sends useless stuff back. However, ELIZA doesn't quite seem up to the task since she was designed to handle an on-going conversation and her range of responses to a block of text trying to pedal v14g*a or nigerian bonds is limited. It would be great to have a bot that would excel at answering a single message rather than engaging in a conversation. Even better if it grabbed keywords from the original message and spat them back in a question or something semi-comprehensible to waste time on the other end. Is there something I could download or scrape off a webpage that would suit my purposes? I've been unable to find anything that great. I've checked out alicebot.org and pandorabots.com, which seem to be the hubs of this sort of development on the internets. My fallback is to pipe responses from SmarterChild or some other AIM bot back and forth to my email, but I suspect there are rate limits that would come into play and stop me from scaling up my spammer respammming. And that would be no fun at all. Open to all advice. Thanks!

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I was going to recommend this, but I have a better idea. Why not just create a list of generic, but still smart sounding one-liners. Select one at random, and use it as a reply. You could do some basic searching, so if it contains, say, the word "Nigeria" it responds with something like "Sure, I'll send you all my monies when you buy me a pony".

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I used to sell stuff on ebay, and I got a lot of trouble from spammers who would end my auctions and then ask me to send the goods before paying up. I managed to trick one of these people into sending ME £10 so I could post the item first. The £10 covered the cost of the last few auctions that I had to restart when people didn't pay up. I basically told him that I needed the money from the auction to send the item, but if he gave me £10 I could post it that day.

You want your chatbot to attempt stuff like that. You never know, you might make some money out of it.

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I am surprised that apparently you do not know this, although it is very common knowledge.

Replying to spam mails is an utterly bad idea. Print this out in large letters and hang it over your bed.

First of all, the vast majority of spam (well over 90%) is sent with spoofed sender addresses. This means that if you reply to the messages, you are needlessly harassing innocent people.

Second, in the case of the few spam messages that have no spoofed sender address, by replying to them, you confirm that your address is valid, so you will get more spam.

Third, it adds unnecessary server load and network traffic, burning money and energy. You may be inclined to think "so what, I don't pay for it", but in the end, you do.

Replying to spam is pouring gasoline into the fire.

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Instead, you can apply for the CIA. Over time you'll get a convenient position and then ask you black old pal to use some of those cool IR sattelites to watch how a team of marines shoot the hell out of those niggerian spammers.

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I write AI chatbot code all the time so I understand your question regardless of whether you should or shouldn't be replying to spam.

What you requested is the simplest form of AI chatbot code there is. String search on keywords and sentence "flipping" to strip out a subject from the message and add it to the reply.

Almost any "old school" chatbot code can do both these things and source is available in virtually any language you choose. In fact you can write your own in about an hour with the std::string class and nothing else.

I've been writing AI chatbot code for ten years (mostly IRC based) and the old school methods are still vastly superior to the new nueral network and genetic algorithm techniques providing the string database is large enough. In fact some cynical programmers would say the "new" AI techniques were invented as a lazy alternative to writing a decent backend AI database.

The new methods try to build a database on the fly by "stealing" the user input, stripping out verbs, nouns, etc then building "associative tables" that do recombinations. In effect you are continually rehashing the same stuff over and over, relying entirely on the user for something new.

The best AI chatbot code these days uses a combination of all available techniques yet there is still nothing that can beat a really huge backend database of knowledge with cross-linked keywords.

m0ng00se

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I'm only replying to spam on a spambait address that I use to sign up for things online.

m0ng00se: Since you seem to have a lot of experience in this area, do you know if there is a standard word-association database that I can use or download? From the research I did on PandoraBots and other places, it seems like everyone rolls their own everything from scratch for chatbots. Really I just want a black box I can send text to on stdin and get a response back on stdout.

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Quote:
Original post by Telamon
I'm only replying to spam on a spambait address that I use to sign up for things online.

m0ng00se: Since you seem to have a lot of experience in this area, do you know if there is a standard word-association database that I can use or download? From the research I did on PandoraBots and other places, it seems like everyone rolls their own everything from scratch for chatbots. Really I just want a black box I can send text to on stdin and get a response back on stdout.


And when the spammers realise your spambait address is active, they waste the resources of the mail servers between you and them by sending it as much as they can. Its better to play possum. (My previous comment was only regarding people directly contacting you, e.g. via ebay or paypal communication channels. I never reply to spam, I drag it to the little cylindrical filing cabinet icon.)

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Telamon

There are heaps. ALICE is probably the best but I doubt you'd want to go through the learning curve involved for your simple task.

There's a heap of bots out there though that go one better than what you want. They strip out the keywords then do a google search and match the best google answer and send that. Plenty of Eggbot, WinBot scripts can do that. They can also open e-mail, reply etc. After all that's what spammers use themselves. Bots.

You can modify an Eggbot and run a stripped down IRC server (UNREALIRC) off your local machine so that you don't have to connect to IRC to run a bot. You can train a bot to do pretty much anything except walk the dog and have sex with your neighbour. A bot can handle all your e-mail for you and generate replies. In effect you will then be spamming the spammers with their own weapon. You will also be a spammer yourself however and don't blame me if you get hacked big time.

You are playing with fire you realise? The secret underworld of the internet is run by huge Bot Nets and if you get them angry they will toast you so fast. Those guys are cutting edge hackers who take no prisoners.

m0ng00se

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