Sunday, January 06, 2008



In perhaps the ultimate American response to spiritual issues, inventor Ron Ingram has announced the availability (for a fee) of an artificial intelligence program called "godsbot."

Ingram says godsbot is capable of simulating intelligent conversation with adults as well as children. According to the inventor, godsbot is equipped to answer and discuss basic questions about philosophy, science and religion. godsbot not only is interactive but learns and remembers information like names, birthdays and favorite movies about individual subscribers.
Ingram has supposedly studied Christianity, comparative religions, philosophy, psychology, neuroscience and information technology for decades. One wonders what Christians might make of this, though:

Ingram's first AIML project, Buddhabot, was launched July 2004 ... and attracted a loyal international following. Ingram cloned and converted Buddhabot to Christianity thereby introducing the resulting new entity, godsbot ...
Is the religious conversion of a computer program a first? Still, the promise of the program is so great:

Ingram says godsbot represents one small component of a larger more complex AI system he is working on and hopes to patent in the near future. "godsbot is a live operational prototype. The system I have envisioned for the future will allow godsbot to operate with greater autonomy and intelligence and will include new capabilities like manipulation of physical objects and locomotion through robotic limbs, machine vision and other sensory systems," he says. ...

There is no reason, says Ingram, that godsbot could not become one of the most influential and far-reaching instruments of peace on earth.
Uh, huh. And about that fee:

To gain access to godsbot, Ingram requires a donation of at least $10. ... One $10 donation provides 365 days of unlimited Internet access.
Let's see ... extravagant claims that will require only a few dollars "donation." Sounds like Ingram is on to something ... how to be a televangelist without the need for a hairdresser.

Ah, I have to admire the sheer audacity of this scam!
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