# Predictive text generated conversation

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,288
Ok thanks for your business and leisure travelers and the other side of things. I have no college degree in computer science. I'm not sure what to expect from the same thing as a result of this email address. thank you for your time and money. I have no idea what the hell is a good idea to get a chance to win the world. But I still believe that you have any other way to go online blasting their employer when disgruntled, and the topic of discussion of this message has been a long way to get it out.

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,145
Huh?

#### nerdegutta

Joined Dec 15, 2009
2,676

#### tcmtech

Joined Nov 4, 2013
2,867
Spambot text generator I am guessing.

#### atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,005
My tables help ed with this teXT which I think is good. Probably better than yours because it's a Samsung
albeit it written garbage at times.

The only degree I got recently is a common Celsius °C.

Ah, you were talking about auto text, right? Only in my PCs.

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,288
Exactly!
I developed this odd fascination a few years ago after I started receiving a barrage of nonsensical spam in my inbox.
It was such a strong curiosity that I still remember the titles of the first two such emails back in 2010: "RE: My fluvia" and "RE: my toastin."
The spam would be some paragraph of disjointed words with a link at the bottom.
It was very curious to me how all the sentence structure, punctuation, subject-verb agreement, and so forth were there, all rules were followed, but the end result was total gibberish.

This "poor approximation" seems to be a key marker (strong, or subtle) in most computer generated content; music, video, pictures, etc. It seems to be more obvious to some than others.
Those with a deep understanding of a particular art can identify it right away. For example any real musician can immediately detect a computerized drumkit, and most of them opine that it sounds like crap. I cannot, usually, sounds the same to me.
A photographer is quick to criticize digital photo effects that I think look good.

But we all are experts of language, and therefore immediately detect when we are processing the empty speakings of a computer. It lacks soul. We can detect that. Usually because it lacks coherency.
I cannot understand why I am so taken by this phenomenon. I don't know what question I'm trying to ask, or what I'm trying to understand about it, if anything. It just seems so eerie to me to read the disjointed ramblings of computer-generated "thoughts," that it seemed deserving of discussion.
I thought that starting a discussion about it here might dredge up more info about how it works, and why. Maybe even some info about "why reading incoherent computer generated content elicits such a strong psychological response in humans" - that is, assuming I'm not the only human that feels this way about it.

I wonder how much computerized cranial "junk food" I'm ingesting every day, in forms that I cannot identify. I know that the music I hear on the radio is a good example, but what else? Though I might not be able to detect it outright, I do think that I "feel" it all around me. I feel like I am (or, we are, or, society is) slipping more and more into lego land, where everything is plastic, digital, and "awesome," even if we don't know why.

How long until we humans start conversing on the nonsensical level of computers? I've seen many posts on this forum that sound a loud bell with the same tone as my spambot emails, despite being typed up by a "real" human. I've seen conversations on this forum go back and forth with pages of content exchanged, but zero ideas exchanged. Zero conversation, bulk content. I spoke out on it with the last example I saw, and I likened it to Furbies exchanging conversation. That's what it feels like sometimes; Furbies accessing the internet. Everybody talking, nobody listening; Everbody contributing words that appear to be in-line with the subject, but individually unrelated.

Maybe, I'm just losing my mind. Maybe my already robotic thought processes are evolving toward full-on soulless computerization, and the last bit of human in me is fighting back.

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
@strantor
The way I understand it, there are two possible issues going on.

One reason, the spambot emails of the past stopped working because companies started co-operating to stop it. For example, if yahoo mail noticed 20,000 users getting the same email (same subject or same body), from a newly created domain or obviously attempted to mask the domain, Yahoo started monitoring the IP address for future junk mail. They share with the big security firms (Norton, etc,) and we have seen a huge decrease in number of spam mails, and improved accuracy of emails automatically sorted as spam.

Then the spammers started putting random jibberish in the body of the email to avoid classification. So the yahoo mail and Nortons of the world started deleting those because of their improper grammar. About 5 years ago, some spammers started using automated language generators to create plausible text that was all different from other emails. That is what you were reading. The goal, to defeat the spam filters and then, get the recipient interested enough to click the link.

Second reason, kind of like an old time "numbers station" on shortwave. In the case of email, if enough users get it, the intended recipient is hard to find.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_station

Joined Apr 30, 2011
1,569
There seems to exist a "curiosity continuum" where each person has a different threshold of satisfaction. On one end are people who barely care about or are aware of the world around them and on the opposite end are people who are easily obsessed with understanding the most minute details of everything. People at the extremes are often regarded as retarded or crazy so it's fortunate that most people are somewhere near the middle of this bell curve.

I suspect that most engineering types are somewhere on the latter side of the median. This higher level of curiosity makes it possible for them to solve complex problems and understand the intricacies of the natural world but it also means they're prone to obsess over puzzles, even when they know or suspect the solution will yield no real value and that they could do something better with their time.

In Strantor's example, the driving concern may be that the text generators will become sophisticated enough to pass the Turing test and we will be headed for a dystopian Skynet/Matrix world.

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#### tracecom

Joined Apr 16, 2010
3,944
But we all are experts of language, and therefore immediately detect when we are processing the empty speakings of a computer.
I would respectfully disagree with both premises.

There were never many experts in language, and their numbers are dwindling thanks to text speaking, twittering, and teachers who know nothing about language other than text speaking and twittering.

We do immediately detect some computer generated text, but not all...maybe not even most.

I do remember getting a few of those e-mails, but I just assumed they were attempts to get a response from the addressee to confirm that the address was valid.

#### ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,045
No matter the content I make it a point to never click an unsolicited email ever. The only time I click them directly is when getting a temporary password immediately after I have requested one.

I regularly get emails seemingly from my bank. Most links (hovered, not clicked) seem to lead back to my banks real website, but ont in particular looks very suspicious. I've reported it to my bank several times, thou these are not even acknowledged.

I have only clicked one malware link since the interwebs were born, and in that cast the spammer jammer was smart enough to make it look line a window on my computer, not like a browser window.

Took a few hours to clear that one out.

#### DerStrom8

Joined Feb 20, 2011
2,390
Hey dude you know that if there's a little late anyway I have the wrong person to get you excited about that now that may have a meeting this morning I don't want your place from my email until the church and I can't finish.

The above was generated by clicking the third suggested (predicted) word in my smartphone's texting field 45 times.

#### tcmtech

Joined Nov 4, 2013
2,867
No matter the content I make it a point to never click an unsolicited email ever.
That my approach with email, regular mail and phone calls that do not show who they are or that leave a message not saying who they are or what they are calling about.

If you can not properly identify yourself and why you contacted me you are not worth my time to respond.

(This text was generated by an english class flunky and spellcheck.)

#### #12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,210
No matter the content I make it a point to never click an unsolicited email ever.
Much like tcmtech, I am worse than that. I give out throw-away email addresses and delete them the minute they start getting spam. I don't open paper mail from people or places that I don't know. I don't answer phone calls from numbers I don't recognize. I don't even answer calls from some places I do recognize. Just a few minutes ago, my insurance company had a computer phone me to ask me questions. I hung up on it. An hour before that, my drugstore said they had put everyone on auto-refill, auto-phone the doctor if there are no refills available, and auto-phone my home to tell me they refilled prescriptions I did not ask for. If I don't like it, I can spend my time on the phone begging somebody to let me opt out. I opted out right there by cancelling all my prescriptions. Today I am going to tell my sister the phone number of a lawyer that specializes in suing people and corporations that operate auto-dialers.

I don't even let my clothes washer force me to allow it to run as somebody in China wants it to run. It wants to thrash my clothes for a minimum of 12 minutes per wash. I set a kitchen timer for 4 minutes, walk out there and cancel the wash cycle, then move the knob to, "rinse" and re-start the machine. Rather than let my car demand $100 ignition keys, I taped one of the computerized keys in the steering column and use a$1 key in the ignition. If I can find somebody to re-program that computerized key feature out of it, I will do that. My water softener was designed with resin beads that plug up the water flow. I replaced them with the right beads that cost 25% of what the wrong beads cost, and told the MCU a false hardness level so it would regenerate at the correct time interval. I took the auto-kill-the-engine-every-time-you-let-go-of-the-handle off my lawn mower and replaced it with a toggle switch.

(This text was generated by an old fart that refuses to be auto-controlled by computers.)

#### joeyd999

Joined Jun 6, 2011
4,401
Ok thanks for your business and leisure travelers and the other side of things. I have no college degree in computer science. I'm not sure what to expect from the same thing as a result of this email address. thank you for your time and money. I have no idea what the hell is a good idea to get a chance to win the world. But I still believe that you have any other way to go online blasting their employer when disgruntled, and the topic of discussion of this message has been a long way to get it out.
Have you asked @loosewire for a translation?

#### RichardO

Joined May 4, 2013
2,271
Exactly!
I developed this odd fascination a few years ago after I started receiving a barrage of nonsensical spam in my inbox.
It was such a strong curiosity that I still remember the titles of the first two such emails back in 2010: "RE: My fluvia" and "RE: my toastin."
The spam would be some paragraph of disjointed words with a link at the bottom.
It was very curious to me how all the sentence structure, punctuation, subject-verb agreement, and so forth were there, all rules were followed, but the end result was total gibberish.
. . . . . .
Maybe, I'm just losing my mind. Maybe my already robotic thought processes are evolving toward full-on soulless computerization, and the last bit of human in me is fighting back.
Maybe you need psychotherapy?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA

#### RichardO

Joined May 4, 2013
2,271
I still play the TRS-80 version.
The version of the Eliza program here was written before the TRS-80 existed:
http://www.xpl0.org/

The XPL0 version was translated from a listing written in Lisp *. I thought that Joseph Weizenbaum's Eliza was originally written in Lisp but Wikipedia says otherwise.

*Lisp: Lots of Irritating Single Parenthesis.

#### tracecom

Joined Apr 16, 2010
3,944
The version of the Eliza program here was written before the TRS-80 existed:
http://www.xpl0.org/

The XPL0 version was translated from a listing written in Lisp *. I thought that Joseph Weizenbaum's Eliza was originally written in Lisp but Wikipedia says otherwise.

*Lisp: Lots of Irritating Single Parenthesis.
Isn't that spelled Lithp?

#### joeyd999

Joined Jun 6, 2011
4,401