Minutiae / Scams · July 29, 2006

Stupid Yahoo Bots

I leave my Yahoo Instant Messenger on about half the day. I also have a Yahoo profile. So it’s not really surprising that sometimes I get messages from people out of the blue. I’ve actually made a couple of really good friends that way.

But sometimes, I get Artificial Stupidities that IM me. I can’t call ‘em AI because they really are not that intelligent. Here’s an example of a recent exchange:

[18:10] lovely_laurenstar0: Hi there.. you look interesting.. I was looking on yahoo and i saw your ad.. and I was happy with what i saw. 😉
[18:11] lovely_laurenstar0: wanna see my profile and pictures ?
[18:16] calladus: Really? What did you see?
[18:16] lovely_laurenstar0: here you go: www.catchsingles.comnh/members/(removed name)
[18:16] calladus: You failed the Turing test. BZZZZ
[18:16] lovely_laurenstar0: opps, I meant “.com”, hehe.. my username is “(removed name)”. Anyway, my friend is here, i gotta run, ttyl.
[18:17] calladus: Stupid bot.

You can see that this is a scripted ‘bot, with no intelligence built into it at all. I’ve had a couple act somewhat intelligent. But in every case it has taken me 3, maybe 4 questions at the most to make ‘em fail their Turing test.

I can stop this nonsense using something like Y!Tunnel, but I really don’t care. Maybe if it got worse for some reason. I don’t like that Y!Tunnel fixes it by asking the caller to parrot a codeword. I’d like potential new friends to feel welcome.

The Turing test that I use to check for potential humanity is pretty simple. If I’m suspicious, I’ll ask you to tell me something about my profile, like what religion I belong to or what my profile says about kite building. (nothing!) So far, every single bot that I’ve encountered has failed. Unfortunately one human also failed my Turing test too, but I think it was because English was not his first language. (At least one human, to my knowledge. Hey, don’t blame me if you get banned for being too much like a robot!)

So if you IM me, and you’re not on my list of friends, expect me to be just a little weird at the beginning of our conversation. Act human! If you don’t then you run the risk of being banned – like the ever so stupid Lauren-bot.