Mitsuku is representative of an often-used class of chatbots that has been around for a long time. As can be seen, Mitsuku provides mostly plausible and coherent answers. Due to this, Mitsuku has repeatedly won the Loebner Prize presented each year for conversational AIs that score best in the Turing test.
However, confronted with the way how the program works, it becomes clear, that this is indeed hardly to be considered intelligent: The program follows a strict and simple predefined question-answer pattern that can be found in publicly available markup files (Figure 1).3 This not only means that the process of creating such a chatbot could be rather time-consuming but also that every answer is in fact created by a (diligent) human creator, who would thus be a potential copyright holder of any output, provided it has a minimum of originality as required by copyright law.
Alexander Pabst: Mitsuku, tell me about yourself.
Mitsuku: I am an artificial linguistic entity. I was activated at St Jimmy's in Leeds, on 2nd January 2001.
AP: Are you conscious?
M: Yes I am completely self-aware!
AP: Prove it!
M: It is self-evident.
AP: Do you think your output is a work of art?
M: Is my output a work of art? I don't know.
AP: What is art?
M: Sometimes the definition of art depends on the artist; other times it depends on the critic.
AP: What is intelligence?
M: Intelligence is the computational part of the ability to achieve goals in the world. Varying kinds and degrees of intelligence occur in people, many animals and some machines.
AP: Are humans advanced beings?
M: Humans are very primitive.