I think it is a reasonable thing to do to.... give people a response, which is what they are looking for.
Frankly, I think people read WAY too much into all this. "The AI was asked on a date" "the AI was abused".... fuck, have none of these people ever spent an hour with ELIZA? Within about 5 minutes it becomes a game of "What can I get it to say?"
People are playing with a toy looking for a response....any response works. A response which acknowledges what they are doing, in any way, is exactly what most were probably looking for.
If anything, this would encourage the behaviour because "look, she talks back too..."
In regard to social issues, I do like that Slashdot is getting back to its roots at least!
Perhaps this was written by someone too young to remember 3G video services.
Strangely enough, Verizon also doesn't charge me for receiving texts from their own customer support center, or "Fortune of the Day" service, or those chintzy CNNgo mobile
In fact, this is argueably LESS of an issue than T-Mobile's deal with the video services, simple as a result of it not being co-branded. If "Netflix by T-Mobile" was an actual thing, there'd be absolutely no room to complain at all.
There's no future in time travel.