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The Internet

End of an Era: Forum 2000 Closes 77

Ex Machina writes: "After nearly 4 years on the net, the great artificial intelligence project Forum 2000 has closed. For the uninitiated, Forum 2000's artificial intelligence constructs -- the SOMADS (who ranged from Tux the Penguin to Einstein) -- answered questions from 'drones' on the Internet. It is being reported on at: Fake Forum, True Meaning of Life, and Conversatron."
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End of an Era: Forum2000 Closes

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  • by IanCarlson ( 16476 ) on Saturday August 12, 2000 @07:32PM (#859866) Homepage
    Forum2000 was the one of the best Internet hoaxes around. Questions were fed to students at a college by a web interface, then answered in imaginary personas. Submitting a question to Forum2000 was like getting a private consultation from literary figures, naked females, computer hardware, or a crack baby. Many belly-laughs were had while scanning the Hall Of Fame.

    Forum was so well written, one got the impression of almost a tailor-made cartoon strip. SOMADS (personas) were always creative, and the answers were sometimes helpful.

    All of this was done, from my understanding, by a group of bored college students. If Forum2000 displayed the wisdom of the average college student, then the future of the world has nothing to worry about. I really will miss the wit and wisdom that was dispensed through the cold and heartless system which is the Internet.

    Farewell, Forum, and good luck to its creators in whatever line of work they plan on persuing in the future.
  • I think Ayn Rand would have been a slashdot troll. "The GPL is CRIMINAL"
    "Using OSS defies Reason"
  • Sure, we won't get those quaint cracks from Ayn Rand anymore. And we will be truly lost without the timeless wisdom of the Cube. But still, Kosh is my favorite.

    And do read the Hall of Fame [forum2000.org] before it goes away.
  • by CaseStudy ( 119864 ) on Saturday August 12, 2000 @07:44PM (#859869) Homepage

    Well, I'm surprised that nobody's tried to create a SOMAD/Slashbot yet. It wouldn't be too hard to do one that could do the following:

    • watch for new articles, put up a "FR15T P05T!!!" when one appears;
    • "helpfully" repost the contents of the linked page;
    • complain that any article in a non-computer category doesn't belong on Slashdot;
    • complain that JonKatz doesn't know what he's talking about;
    • add a "Can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of these?" post
    • add an "information wants to be free" post to any "Your Rights Online" discussion;
    • Moderates the parent of a post containing "Moderate the preceding post up" as "Insightful";
    • Moderates a post containing "Moderate this down" as "Interesting";
    • Moderate any long post as "Insightful";

    et cetera.


    Oh. Never mind, then.

  • We already have enough search engines masquerading as AIs around. Look at Ask Jeeves, preferably before they go bankrupt.
  • After briefly searching around the CMU website, I found a document entitled How Forum2000 works [cmu.edu], it seems by Andrej Bauer [cmu.edu]. Assuming that this isn't just smokescreen to conceal the hoax, it seems to be pretty good, if brief, background on how Forum2000 works.
  • [ simulated persona = "Corey Kosak", node #116, max search depth 32%, neural variance 19.664 ]

    All I have ever wanted is to get a GIF of the shaved ass of spicy Latino Gnome hottie Miguel de Icaza.

  • Andrej the SOMAD will always have a posse.
  • by The Conversatron ( 221935 ) on Saturday August 12, 2000 @08:18PM (#859874) Homepage
    If the Forum is indeed gone for good, it is indeed a sad thing. The Forum 2000 deserves every kudo, not only for some real top rate humor writing over the years, but also for inspiring a complete genre of internet humor.

    And I must say, the timing of this story was excellent. Had this been posted during a weekday, our humble internet connection would surely have perished.

    Good luck Corey and Andrej! No hard feelings, I hope.

    Conversatron High Command
  • I've got an advanced digital version of the magic 8 ball working called GAC. [mindpixel.com] Give it a try. It really thinks it's human. You can ask it things like:

    • Drinking too much alcohol can make baked beans come out of your nose
    • Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Frank Ryan, who threw three touchdowns in the 1964 NFL championship game, designed the computerized voting system used in the House of Representatives.
    • Does the fact that you can understand the following- youcanunserstandthissentenceevenwithoutthespaces- come first from learning the word patterns of normal English that you did as a child?
    • did microsoft create linux?
    • The letter underneath the letter t on a qwerty keyboard is g
    • anything you can think of, GAC will answer just like a person.
    • UNIX is an operating system, OS/2 is half an operating system, Windows is a shell, and DOS is a boot partition virus.
    • Is it true that In 1984, President Reagan joked during a voice test for a paid political radio address that he had "signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes"?
    • Deep unspeakable suffering may well be called a baptism, a regeneration, the initiation into a new state.
    • "Is 88 a number?" is the kind of question asked by an imaginationless, soleless moron?

    I am working on bringing back all of the F2K personae, but this time, they will be real.

  • I used to read the threads on Forum2000 frequently and noticed numerous spelling mistakes. One I found today can be found here. [forum2000.org]
    It is in a comment the Einstein persona makes:

    "My point is that you do not fully understand the notion of time, and it is no wonder that your mind, set to analyze everything into indivisible untis, cannot conceive of time as a geometric notion, just another dimension of the space-time manifold.

    The 'Einstein SOMAD' incorrectly spells the words 'units' as 'untis'. There are more spelling errors if you care to take the time to look for them.

    This leads me to question the fact that the Forum2000 is really a front end to an artificial intelligence computer. I have this creeping suspicion that human beings really type the answers to people's questions. The only real 'artificial intelligence' is the Cube. Have you noticed how when you ask a question, the Cube has a meaningless answer right away, whereas the other personas take hours or days to reply? It may be true that the Matrix needs that much time to come up with replies, but if it makes spelling mistakes (which a computer program at the level that the Forum2000 is purported to be should not make) AND takes forever to generate replies, in my mind can only mean that human beings come up with the answers.

    Possibly the reason the Forum2000 got shut down is because everyone started running out of ideas for funny conversations between the SOMADs, or that the people running it are graduating from university and will not have time to keep it up? The oldest questions in the Hall of Fame [forum2000.org] are around 1200 days old, which is roughly four years, the time needed to complete university.

    There are other issues, such as the fact that the SOMADs can change the font attributes of the text of their replies, and on rare occasions generate images to prove their points. But maybe they know HTML.

    Of course, you could argue that the spelling mistakes are intentionally programmed into the Forum2000.

    What do you think?

    --Markus



    BlackholeTV [blackholetv.com] - TV that Swallows
  • Actually, the query "Which countries share a border with Turkey?" worked fine, and I also tried "Which countries border Poland?" which also worked. The phraseology of your last question seems to confuse START, but it knows the answer if you ask "Who is the president of the US?". Funny, that.
  • Unfortunately you can't register. you see, you get the registration e-mail back from mindpixel, and you go to the url listed inside it, and get:
    The requested URL /confirm.php3 was not found on this server.
    You might consider fixing that.
    ----------------------------
  • According to the Andrej Bauer SOMAD (regarding the spelling mistakes):

    "Hello? What part of trained on Usenet don't you understand?"

    That said, it was, of course. a hoax... though an extemely entertaining one.

    Garg
  • Hoax? Sure, a few people thought it was real, but some people took Johnathan's Swift's "A Modest Proposal" seriously, too.

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • OK, look, I'd like to set this straight once and for all.

    This is not true. Yes, there is a 'real' peterb. Yes, I am he. Yes, the Forum 2000 SOMAD was based on me (or more accurately, on the entire output of my usenet postings and postings to internal CMU bulletin boards over 10 years ago). But that does not accurately reflect who I am, or what I do. The guys at Intelleq thought it would be cute to use my reviews as input to the matrix, and I agreed, but that's about the extent of it.

    And while I happen to think Debbie Does Dallas is a fine movie, pornography is certainly not the only thing -- or even the majority of -- the so rts of movies I review [themestream.com].

    While on the one hand the notoriety has been great, it's really kind of irritating when the SOMAD acts like a sex pig in public and then I get email from some strange woman wanting to know why I said those awful things to her. Trust me. Notoriety is overrated.

  • So you never got to hook up with that italian chick huh? I can never figure out what she's saying.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    There's an amusing story about the time the MIT and CMU zephyr servers got linked up. Because of the different ways MIT and CMU use zephyr, all of the hardcore MIT zephyr-types immediately started seeing all of the sekrit forum2k zephyr discussion about how the questions were going to be answered, etc.

    We Were Amused(tm).

    The forum crowd proceeded to clue up (apparently after some paniced zephyrs to the class, though I don't have logs myself) and move their discussion somewhere a little less public.

    Oh yeah, and for those of you who have never set foot at MIT or CMU, zephyr is the great-granddaddy of all chat/instant message systems, developed Way Back When for MIT's Project Athena (the same initiative that brought you things like X Windows and Kerberos.)

  • I heard about this thing about an hour ago. I am not completely sure whether or not it is fake, but I believe it is. First, he claims he could not maintain funding because his investors said it wouldn't pay off. There are millions of dollars invested in natural language processing. If this actually worked, we would probably be using SOMADS in our computers now, paying a monthly fee to intelleq(I think that's what his investor was called.)

    Second, his paper appears to be entirely based on breaking down sentances and deriving meaning. He mentions nothing about image recognition, but on at least one occasion it shows his persona giving proofs about triangles with pictures demonstrating them in the hall of fame. If their primary information source is the text of newsgroups, these personas should be unable to tell what a picture is of. It might be able to assume the images content through contextual clues, but could not guarantee the content of the image was what they expected. Also it would take another step in programming to let the persona know that pictures can be used to clarify a concept. It doesn't seem to be covered in his paper.

    It is also unlikely that a program that got all it's information from newsgroups would be able to tell what was funny and what was not based on sentance structure. I guess it is possible, but I doubt anyone has a clue on how to implement it.

    Also, at one point, a new persona (Trinity) is appearantly created during a conversation by another persona. It would probably be fairly dangerous to give personas access to your database to personas, which, in tbe process of learning, could spawn hundreds of senseless personas.

    There are probably work-arounds for most, if not all, of the things I said, but I don't think anyone is good enough to do them at this time.

    When it is revealed to be real I will be very embarrassed, so I'm hoping it's fake.

  • I cannot even begin to tell you all how many countless hours I spent reading f2k. I'd often laugh so hard that my eyes would start tearing up and my sides would ache.

    I remember seeing a network TV magazine show (20/20 or Hard Copy or whatever those interchangeable network TV magazine shows are) about a guy who was told by his doctor to stop watching Seinfeld because this guy would laugh so hard it was messing him up. Hmmmm, I think I may have chuckled at Seinfeld a couple of times. I think I found f2k as hilarious as this guy must've found Seinfeld.

    The ultimate for me was definately "What is a Finite State Machine?" It's in the hall of fame...it should be required reading for every programmer.

    All good things...
  • Actully, I think that you will find that slashdot is an experiment in artificial stupidity :)
  • And, now that I have read some more of the hall of fame, I realize that this is obviously fake, and I am an idiot for devoting so much time to the above post. I would like to apologize to everyone who read that.
  • Shashdot: NEWS for Nerds. Stuff that matters. How can people be upset at others who don't know it's a hoax if they aren't told it's a hoax? In addition, I'm sure most people are as sick and tired of hoaxes as I am at this point. I can understand a good joke but if it continues nobody will be able to believe anything posted on slashdot, a NEWS forum by its own slogan.
  • Slashdot certainly fails to qualify as "artificial intelligence." It might be artificial though.

    Ryan
  • You think bogus technology is a guarantee of bankrupcy? Think again. Ask Jeeves wouldn't even be the first company to build business success on "natural languages" queries -- a technology that has always had more hype than substance. Back in the early 80s, a couple of academic types designed software that was supposed to translate plain-English questions into relational database queries. It didn't work, of course, but by time the VCs realized this, the profs had built a successful software empire by buying up other technolgies -- some of which did work. The result is a company you may have heard of. [symantec.com]

    Also, look at "Portal" sites. They all grew out of Web search engines -- but their business success has nothing to do with the quality of their search technology. The biggest winner of all is Yahoo, which is hardly an example of cutting-edge technology.

  • funny. worked for almost 2000 other people, and it worked for me just now. you might want to try again.
  • As Ayn Rand's SOMAD would say, "CRIMINAL!"

  • The ultimate for me was definately "What is a Finite State Machine?" It's in the hall of fame...it should be required reading for every programmer

    Agreed... any post with Barbie in it was a great one...

    Thinking hurts, let's go shopping!

  • A few simple questions:

    • Ok, first, where do you get your information? (How do we know that you are telling the truth.) If this was hoax (1) why is the hoax still going when the Forum is officially over, (2) do you have any information to prove it was a hoax or that you know what you are talking about?
    • If it is a hoax, perhaps you'd like to tell how they did it in more particulars, why they were niether consistently humorous but still made many computer-ish-type mistakes?

    Honestly, from the perspective of most of us, we can niether know hwether it was or was not a hoax, but mearly look at what we are told, hope it is accurate, and use our best judgement to try to weed-out false information and choose between conflicting reports. (Some demostratably working code, however, would argue against a hoax.) The Forum certainly has the "ring of truth" -- i.e., it looks realistic. However (1) it is admittedly fun to believe, and (2) your claims sound believable. So, if it is worth telling us about, do you have any evidence?

    (I hope that Forum 2000 will see the accusation, and put a confirmation or denail statement on their web-site.)

  • I think she would be referring to the fact that people are giving away GPL-ed software which is inconsistant with reason. (hee)
  • This was a fascinating project. It was, of course, also hliarious. However, I think there are more important things than just the humor value. Seening the way it could or could not answer questions reasonable was fascinating, as were the times it could or couldn't keep the replies geared toward human (vs. machine readers) and the ways it would sometimes break down.

    I, for one, have several question types that I think would have been cool to see ask. These include:

    Questions involving implicit reasoning and problem solving, such as found in the book Five Minute Misteries. Specifically, things that involve looking at evidence, picking up on the right cues, and making a good educated guess rather than a straight logic puzzel or general oppinion / generalization question.

    Questions involving inferring based on comparisson, particularly judging whether or not two web-page whose authors have the same first name prominently displayed are by the same person. (Ayn might say "A is A" though the name be similar by coincidence alone.)

    Questions on more divers topics (and reviews of web pages on such topics). For example, mythology, medicine, art displays, human-based gaming, and so forth, to see a larger variety of responces. While questions on interpersonal relationships and such were both very amusing and informative of errors, it was also quickly obvious that these algorithms couldn't answer these in a way resemble human understanding. I would be incredible to look at the responces for some other such things.

    The ability of these SOMADs to sometimes give intelligent sounding and useful answers to non-personal problems certainly the most interesting. (E.g., Shakespears detailled historical explanation of the origin of the word "pants," Rand and Einstein's debate over relativity, the times when some SOMADs actually wrote short but coherence and quasi-intelligent sounding essays, etc....) There ability to insult and wisecrack at some questions was also interesting.

    This obviously has a lot of potential. First it has obvious entertainment value, especially when unusual or socio-emotional questions are asked. Secondly, being able to use such algorithms to add a "pannel of experts" feature to more serious softwares (notably, encyclopedeas and other reffence apps) or to be able to feed it a other source a drive (or use web access) would be great. Such a system could be used to search and get to useful information, summeries and discuss it, and give link to the sources used, could be very handy. (Such a system could also be entertaining, if off-the-wall questions were fed to it for fun.) Of course, user judgement would be required.

    It is truly sad that this project is going down. It was obviously more than your typical A.L.I.C.E.-type "chatter-bot." The simulation of some actual reasoning and inferrence finding was amazing. This was not artificial intelligence like the common chatter-bot, but appeared to have some real artificial intelligence.

    If Forum 2000 is going down, then they have nothing to loose with GPL'ing it along with a HOWTO and a tutorial on the theories embodied. (What better way to keep the algoriths running than to let them proliferate, much as "a seed must fall to the ground and die [sic]" to yield a good harvest.) This is a sad day in the history of AI, but this could also be a good time for SOMADs technology to to take steps toward growth and and spread to a larger and more diverse teem of developers and researchers.

  • If Forum 2000 is going to be no-more, they really ought to release their algorithms. They will not be loosing anyting, after all. Prefferably, technical and theoretical explanations for the algorthms, the code used to prefform the algoriths, and perhaps a practical HOWTO and theoretical (non-technical, warm-up) primer. I know that is a lot ask for, but is would be great; simply releasing the code would do. GPL, I think would be an ideal liscense.

    Of course, I'm not sure how well this would work on a since PC -- the processing demands, I suspect, would be outrageous (based both on the results and the number of nodes). However, this would really be "neet" to have, and may have some very significant practical uses.

  • What an amazing project... it's a shame that I'd never heard of this site until it already bit the dust. Artificial intelligence has always been a fascinating field for me, and it's amazing the progress that has been made in the past 10-15 years. Sometimes it seems like we're not that far off from a Turing-complete machine.

    I guess the big question now is whether any other sites going to be carrying on Forum2000's memory. We recently saw ION Storm pick up the defunct Thief series to continue; would something like that ever happen to the Forum2000 project? It would certainly be a waste to have all this research and development vanish into nothing.

    Okay, "open sourcing" Iridium didn't made a lot of sense, but Forum2000 sounds like the perfect project to open source. If the creators aren't interested in carrying it on anymore, why not like other members of the community carry on the torch? Guess this will end up being yet another example of how open sourcing a project could have saved it.

  • No!! Gdel won't be able to cut me down for flawed logic and bad spelling anymore! My way of life has been destroyed! I am like an empty vessel waiting to be filled! Where is Kosak when you need him!?
  • How did they get away with the ubiquitous gay Ken doll without being sued by Mattel?
  • There is always Bungie's [bungie.net] disembodied soul to answer all our questions with beautifully grafted artifical intelligence.

    Question: Are you better then Forum 2000's AI?
    The soul says: Can we change the subject please.
  • Forum 2000 Hall of Fame [forum2000.org] is cool too. Go there. Amuse yourself. In the words of SOMAD Tux: "Good luck and remember- Windows sucks. Use Linux!"
  • Just because you annoy me with your so-called intellect.

    Main Entry: kudo
    Pronunciation: 'kü-(")dO, 'kyü-
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural kudos /-(")dOz/
    Etymology: back-formation from kudos (taken as a plural)
    Date: 1926
    1 : AWARD, HONOR
    2 : COMPLIMENT, PRAISE
    usage Some commentators hold that since kudos is a singular word it cannot be used as a plural and that the word kudo is impossible. But kudo does exist; it is simply one of the most recent words created by back-formation from another word misunderstood as a plural. Kudos was introduced into English in the 19th century; it was used in contexts where a reader unfamiliar with Greek could not be sure whether it was singular or plural. By the 1920s it began to appear as a plural, and about 25 years later kudo began to appear. It may have begun as a misunderstanding, but then so did cherry and pea.
  • you know, I'm sure you could still send Corey Kosak some GIFS of your shaved ass or you in assless chaps.

  • Everything dies.
  • Does this mean that Andrej and Kosak really got their PhD's or did people just get sick of it? I'm really going to miss Ayn Rand. Just a plea before f2k closes it's doors for good... Can you GPL your software on the way out? Show us all how ya did it ;-)?

    adamp@andrew.cmu.edu

  • Q:Is it true Rob Malda really has a huge RAID? A:No output submitted to this lonely soul.
  • Good god yes!
  • Forum2000 wasn't a joke? It was a real AI experiment. Scary.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Uh, I love you slashdotters to death, but for someone who's actually from behind the scenes:...

    The questions posted on Forum2000 are all piped to the Carnegie Mellon CS-side Forum2000 Zephyr Class. The Questions are then answered by bored CS Grad students and other miscellaneous Geeks, who assume personalities to fit their response. Kosh, for example, is usually played by the Printer Guy at CluServ here.

    Still, I will admit that this project deserves recognition for one of the biggest Net-Hoaxes ever performed. Cheers to CMU!
  • I don't get it... What did it do? You would send in questions and it would (Presumably via AI) respond via the idiosyncracies of a real or imagined person?? Was it real or just bullshit?
  • Emmett, what were you thinking? Look at what you've done! ;)

    (from the current running personae on the Forum)

    [ simulated persona = "Corey Kosak", node #28, max search depth 63%, neural variance 14.571 ]
    Jesus fucking Christ we're getting Slashdotted again

    [ simulated persona = "Corey Kosak", node #54, max search depth 50%, neural variance 27.972 ]
    This is NOT how I wanted to spend my final few minutes before death



    -Earthling

  • Lots of things get mentioned of slashdot, but not fully explained. This is one of those things. What was forum2000.org, exactly? Doesnt seem like much to me.

    Often wrong but never in doubt.
    I am Jack9.
  • Err... you *do* know it's fake right?

    - A.P.
    --


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • The question about my fair lady actually made the wall of fame here. I kept a copy at [forum2000.org]http://trisomy21.dhs.org/f2k.html [dhs.org] in case the one on their server disappears. Anyways, have fun all, /me is going on vacation for a week, bleh.
  • Your tragic misspelling of the word "Gödel" has.....has.....*sob* i can't do it...please forgive me :~(

    --Siva the lost

    Keyboard not found.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    this is merely provides a

    Your blatant misspelling of "this merely provides a" has tainted the Matrix and your question is therefore REJECTED!
  • I'm guessing that you have somehow missinterpretted my comment as a troll. If it is, it was not intentional. I did origionally think that it might possibly be a real ai. At the time I had only read the hall of fame topics that attempted to explain the ai. It seemed a reasonable way to simulate intelligence, but they did not seem to be behaving in the same way that their description of the technology would imply. I tried to find other evidence that it was fake. I printed that evidence in reply to several posts asking if this was real ai. In response to your advice, I don't think I was being even a little offensive. If I was, I do not know who I was offending. I also did not care about the number of replies. People seemed to be confused. I thought I would try to help them. For those of you who are reading this post, but don't care if I am a troll or not, I am sorry that you had to read this. I suggest that someone moderate it down so that fewer people have to read it.

  • I need to be held.

    [ simulated persona = "quonsar", node #613, max search depth 69%, neural variance 274.561 ]
    Perhaps Mr. Kosak will place his hand in your crotch.

    "I will gladly pay you today, sir, and eat up

  • So does that mean SOMAD is a real AI system which can "approximate" personalities as defined by a set of input parameters (namely your usenet postings and other postings)??

    So many conflicting reports, who to believe?
  • Why do you simply assume anyone who thinks this is "troll"? The site is more than well enough done to give people not familiar with it the impression that it is real (the incongruent stuff actually enhances this effect to a degree). Further, the story doesn't say a thing about it being a humor site, and at least as many replies to the story say its real as that its a hoax. In other words, it is a perfectly understandable that those not familiar with Forum 2000 might think it was real (even for a lot of them). Just because you know its a joke doesn't mean everyone else does.

    It seems to me that some people are being a bit paranoid (and harsh to say the least) in assuming anyone who thinks the Forum was real is a "troll." Even a very bad troll could come up with something better than that. Methinks a lot of thoughtless folk are flaming nieve innocents, and jumping to unfounded conclusions about "trolls." (Ignorant != troll, troll != gulible.)

  • More evidence, even upon their own website there is much room for doubt, in the picture gallery, it is all too convienient that the system architect guy is not in his red chair, and those trinary storage devices, the labels were blurred out! For security? or perhaps that the picture is from an expo somewhere and the company logo has been removed. Their building burnt up real bad? Really, i do recall news is meant to cover things like that. Why don't the SOMAD's spell the same way? How come those science programs never talk about this incredible AI? Why doesn't a big company come along and buy this great development, Imagine what you could do with a working english language AI! Why don't we know the names of the companies that were supposed to be funding Forum 2000 in the past?

    Way to any unanswered questions to leave a trace belief in my mind.

    However, if this is a hoax - The largest congatulations to those who implemented it. A grand feat of mischievious trickery and fun!

    ...hmmm, the picture gallery thing seems to be gone now. Oh well. Maybe you'll have trouble believing me too!
  • Hey, you're the one who goes to school with them. Surely you have a whitepages or finger or other sort of command whereby you might find out such things about your classmates.

    --
  • A. I've seen the Andrej Bauer persona say that they had software written for image recognition. b. Andrej Bauer's persona is undoubtedly trained by Bauer himself. Also, I bet the persona "asked" before putting Trinity in. and, c. It says elsewher on the (old) site that the SOMADS are also taught by the web, and by books. -Rob
  • I don't know how I will live without inspiration from The Bitter Crack Baby and wisdom from The Cube. Here are some of The Cube's best quotes that I have compiled: We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters would eventually reproduce the works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the internet, we know this is not true. Try new "I can't believe it's not cow" beef-flavored spread! The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred sixty two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision. In fact, I would like today's CNN headlines crisped on my morning toast. That's why my laser toaster needs a WWW connection. Stepping in dog shit is nature's way of telling you that you've stepped in dog shit. Thumbs? Yeah, I oppose them. Now that outmoded sexist paradigms of female subjugation and powerlessness have been subverted in the traditionally male-dominated arena of boxing, you can see some major titty-bouncing. the worst side effect of heavy pot use seems to be bad taste in hair styles and clothing. My new Nintendo game is going to be called "Adequate Mario 8." Things are that bad over there, huh? No wonder all my mail-order brides have been sick or dead on arrival. I don't care about the details, I just want to know what color crack they are smoking. Shouldn't this debate be handled in a different forum, such as that of a Monster Truck Rally? excellent. now we know who to hunt down and kill God, you're so four minutes ago! I think I'll go home and pour myself a nice, tall glass of barbeque sauce. "here's your damn cheerios. Now get the fuck out of my house." If somebody -- ANYbody -- with a pulse, a valid address and no felony convictions happens to run against you in the next primary election, guess what... We've secretly replaced these low-fat potato chips with salted birch bark... You decide. "Are my methods unsound?" "I don't see ... any method ... at all." I'm not sure why I hate the French. I never really met any of them. But hating the French seems to fit in very well with the rest of my general world view. I am also founder and current president of S.P.A., the Society for the Prevention of Acronyms. So what you're saying is that the invisible hand is busy jerking off? I'm not falling for that one again. First, you kill me, *then* I'll kill you. I had pizza. It was good. I had beer. It was good. TRANSATLANTIC BITCH-SLAP INITIATED Were I a Zen master and you a novice monk, this would be the point at which you'd ask a simple question, I'd shout "foo!" and do something utterly incomprehensible, and you'd be enlightened. Is a census worker drawing temp pay really going to call you a liar if you swear that your home is occupied by seven Samoans making $150,000 each per year and living without benefit of indoor plumbing? Consider a work like Culture Club's KARMA CHAMELEON, an irresistable alternate history where 19th century blacks and whites frolic together under the benevolent aegis of transvestite Rastafarianism. Many military bases ban ferrets. It seems to be at the discretion of the base commander. I hope that you've enjoyed the quotes as much as I did. Long live The Cube!!!!
  • Kiss cookies goodbye, gullible Slashdot freak! ARRR UMMM NUMM NUMM...

    Garg
  • This is incorrect and misleading. While the incoming messages are posted to the Zephyr message system, this is merely provides a quick&dirty way for myself and others to monitor the Forum 2000 site remotely. The Zephyr interface also parses a few admin commands that the site understands, such as reboot, ban user, and the like. We used zephyr because it uses Kerberos authentication, so it's easy for people to administrate the system remotely and securely.
  • I have nothing constructive to add to this topic; it's just that I laughed 'til I cried many a time while reading Forum 2000, and I have to express myself somehow.

    "I've underestimated you, Misters Kosak and Bauer!"

    The world is diminished by its passing. Thus, A is A. *sniff*

    Damn, this is like Slashdot closing. I need to be held.
  • Then I look at the forum list [forum2000.org] why do I see time incrementing on the forums, = "To how many digits do you know Pi? [##########] 40 mins old" went from 39 to 40 min. When did the _shutdown_ occure?
  • what was this thing? real, fake? can someone write up something of substance?
  • Brutal... your statement does not even approach humour.

    I cannot believe that people would waste their time on something as inconsequential as forum2000. Pathetic.

  • [ simulated persona = "Corey Kosak", node #116, max search depth 32%, neural variance 19.664 ]

    All I have ever wanted is to get a GIF of the shaved ass of spicy Latino Gnome hottie Miguel de Icaza.
  • Explained? If you want that go to a news site. This is a place where people post "First Post" at #27, train penis birds to sit on garbage and live out some convulted fantasy involving natalie portman and hot grits. (I don't want to know any more about that one...) Probably the best thing to come out of /. (except for one or two good replies to each article), is the humor factor.
    The slashdot effect is a nice way to kill off web site, as well, but I don't think that gets classified as 'good'.....
    enjoy

  • by quonsar ( 61695 ) on Sunday August 13, 2000 @03:53AM (#859934) Homepage

    Assuming that this isn't just smokescreen to conceal the hoax, it seems to be pretty good, if brief, background on how Forum2000 works.

    If you bought into that load of obfuscated technomumble, you must feel right at home on AOL. :-)

    And if you had actually read Andrej's page instead of the how it works page, you'd have noted that Forum2000 is listed in the 'entertainment' category (as opposed to his 'work' links...)

    "I will gladly pay you today, sir, and eat up

  • The Forum was one of the great advocates of the Unlambda [eleves.ens.fr] programming language I invented. The Matrix's program, initially written in C++, had been entirely rewritten in Unlambda for efficiency and clarity. Now what will I do without this precious illustration of the power of that programming language?

    Not to mention how useful the Forum's advice was (though it must be said that The Cube was the most sensible and reasonable SOMAD, the rest being, well, a bit artificial in their manner of speech), and how cute Andrej looks - ahem, well, I'd better be going.

  • Well, indeed I would agree that Jeeves is not a very good example of an intelligent search engine. Jeeves really is a fake, however, I think I might have found something a little more interesting. A project known as Start [mit.edu] based at MIT.

    At first I thought that this again was a hoax, or that perhaps the knowledge tree was so carefully defined that it couldn't really be intelligent. So, seeing as it's knowledge tree is pretty much geography orientated, I'd thought I would try and trip it up. If you ask what the capital of Holland is, it correctly identifies that Amsterdam is indeed the capital of the Netherlands. A subtle, but valuable trick.

    The real info on how all this works is given here [mit.edu] by way of a paper written by Boris Katz. No, BORIS Katz. :-)

    Read, enjoy, realise that f2k could be a reality seeing as the cpu cycles are there. Oh and if you're really interested in "chatterbots" from a semi-academic point of view, I'd reccomend highly Simon Laven's homepage [toptown.com] which links to several sites discussing bots from Eliza to the John Lennon Aritifical Intelligence Project. It doesn't however cover the f2k and meaningoflife.com type of bots (perhaps because they're fake? :-P ).
  • Well asking about the capital of Holland isn't very difficult, is it? But something like Forum2000 is certainly unattainable to current AI.

    Since START seems to have a lot of geographical "knowledge", I tried the following queries, all of which failed. We have a LONG, LONG way to go.

    What did Ankara used to be called?

    What is the name of the English town from which New York takes its name?

    What is your favorite country?

    Which countries share a border with Poland?

    Of which country is Clinton president?
  • Next thing, you'll be telling the Usenet Oracle
    wasn't really an Oracle either?

    And that Santa Claus is really a irc bot gone
    horribly wrong?

    And that there are no dogs on the internet?

    And that Al Gore did invent the internet?
  • I was actually considering this a little the other day - the script that I thought up would take the last article in whatever topic things are in (ie: the last AOL article) and grab the ten highest moderated comments, and repost them on the current AOL article. probably 7 or 8 out of ten would be detected as off topic, and one might just hit things right and have close enough content that it would get the same moderation as the first time.

    This would work really well with all of the long-running oft-revisited debates (e.g. anything about Napster, the RIAA, DeCSS, Microsoft all have the same 4 comments explanations of what's going on and why this is "bigger than it seems", why this judge or that judge doesn't know what he's doing, why the microsoft breakup is good/bad/unimportant to linux, etc. )...
    With a bit of tweeking (say, ignoring articles that don't seem related to each other through some heuristic) you could probably get a fairly good karma-whoring success ratio out of this. :-)

    Too bad I don't feel like it.
  • Neither Andrej nor Corey have graduated but they both expect to get their doctorate before the start of the REAL millennium. They actually have a bet going, which is too complicated for me to understand, but it seems to involve Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, castor oil, and a potato.
  • by linuxonceleron ( 87032 ) on Saturday August 12, 2000 @06:01PM (#859941) Homepage
    Even though me and a friend knew this thing was a hoax (well I did, he still isn't sure), we were actually gonna go up to CMU sometime soon to go see the guys who run/fake it. Anyways, F2k has helped me make many decisions, and its decisions have always been dead wrong, but they still helped. I think the funniest thing that came from it was when my friend was bitching about playing drums in a school play, and PeterB replied, "go smoke some weed, then play drums, it will help". Also, when presented with questions about asian girls PeterB's "Mmmmm...asian girls" comforted me while Jet Li's "STAY AWAY FROM MY SISTER!!" had me scared to talk to any asian girls for a long time. F2k made me stop using it after Dr. Laura accused me of being raped by an asian nanny, that's just wrong.
  • by baywulf ( 214371 ) on Saturday August 12, 2000 @06:05PM (#859942)
    After seeing some of the postings in here (ie. First post; Hot grits; goats.cx, etc.) I wonder if Slashdot was also an experiment in artificial intelligence.

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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