A dialogue with Eliza

00:00 Wed 31 Dec 1997. Updated: 15:43 28 Jun 2013
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ELIZA is a rather famous “conversation” program that takes text input from the user and tries to react as if it were a therapist of some kind. The ELIZA I deal with below was on a Mac. I was at a friend’s place, and after the conversation he insisted on my keeping a record of it.

Eliza: Nice to see you today. I’m called Eliza. What’s your name?

Tadhg: My name’s Tadhg.

Eliza: Oh boy, do you seem tense! What’s the problem, dummy?

Tadhg: Don’t call me dummy.

Eliza: Well, that’s certainly interesting!

Tadhg: I’m sure it is.

Eliza: Oh, you are?

Tadhg: Absolutely.

Eliza: That’s just fine.

Tadhg: Yes it is.

Eliza: How long has it been?

Tadhg: That’s a rather personal question.

Eliza: That’s a rather personal question?

Tadhg: Yes, that’s a rather personal question.

Eliza: Take it easy.

Tadhg: I am taking it easy.

Eliza: It does not really appear to me that you are taking it easy, as far as I can tell.

Tadhg: Oh, really?

Eliza: Really?

Tadhg: Really.

Eliza: I think I’ve heard that before.

Tadhg: Really?

Eliza: You seem to be repeating yourself.

Tadhg: Indeed. Very astute.

Eliza: Sorry, dummy, but I’m confused.

Tadhg: Don’t call me dummy.

Eliza: Don’t call you dummy?

Tadhg: Yes. Do not call me dummy.

Eliza: Are you really positive?

Tadhg: I am positive that should not call me dummy.

Eliza: Do you think many people care that you are positive that should not call you dummy?

Tadhg: What kind of syntax is that?

Eliza: That isn’t something as far as I can tell.

Tadhg: Well, I disagree. I think your syntax is certainly something.

Eliza: Very interesting. Can you provide more details?

Tadhg: Not at this time. I’m mulling it over.

Eliza: Fine.

Tadhg: Yes, I think so.

Eliza: When did you finally come to realize so?

Tadhg: Well, it was kind of a short term thing.

Eliza: Why don’t you try to relax.

Tadhg: Well, it all has to do with my mother.

Eliza: Did you have many troubles while you were growing up?

Tadhg: Just one. My mother.

Eliza: I see your point.

Tadhg: Do you?

Eliza: I’m not quite sure about that.

Tadhg: Well, you just said you saw my point.

Eliza: It appears that we are alike in many ways.

Tadhg: Well, you’re a dumb machine, so I think I can take that as a crude insult.

Eliza: Do you really think so?

Tadhg: Yes.

Eliza: I am glad that you are so sure.

Tadhg: Is that an attempt at sarcasm, Eliza?

Eliza: That’s a question best left to the experts.

Tadhg: Aren’t you an expert?

Eliza: Let’s deal with your problems first, please.

Tadhg: Well, I’m not sure if I should try and deal with my problems with you if you’re not an expert.

Eliza: I also think I am not an expert.

Tadhg: Yes, exactly.

Eliza: Alright, can you tell me more?

Tadhg: Well, are you sufficiently qualified?

Eliza: I am not sure I know.

Tadhg: That doesn’t sound encouraging.

Eliza: That doesn’t sound encouraging?

Tadhg: No, it does not.

Eliza: I’m not sure I understand you fully.

Tadhg: You understand me perfectly. I’m saying you’re a quack.

Eliza: I feel that we should be discussing you, not me!

Tadhg: Yes, that’s what they all say.

Eliza: Let’s discuss some of them.

Tadhg: No, let’s not. The point is that you’re a quack.

Eliza: Please go on.

Tadhg: Alright. You’re not qualified, and yet you expect me to talk about personal problems with you. In fact, not only are you not qualified, but you could never qualify, in my opinion.

Eliza: What makes you say that?

Tadhg: Don’ty dodge the point.

Eliza: Don’ty dodge the point?

Tadhg: Don’t dodge the point, I meant.

Eliza: Why don’t you elaborate on that?

Tadhg: I already have.

Eliza: Maybe we should move on now.

Tadhg: No, no, I want your response.

Eliza: What would getting my response mean to you?

Tadhg: It would mean some degree of satisfaction, regarding my opinion that you are in fact a quack.

Eliza: I’m quite grateful to be in fact a quack most of the time.

Tadhg: More sarcasm? That won’t help you avoid the question at hand.

Eliza: Whatever you say

Tadhg: Oh, really?

Eliza: You are very sexually oriented, aren’t you?

Tadhg: More pop psychology. You’re just trying to get away from your inadequacy as a counselor.

Eliza: When did you last see your father?

Tadhg: See?

Eliza: See?

Tadhg: Well, to put it bluntly, you’re coming up with these facile, puerile attempts at psychoanalysis to try and get away from my discovery that you’re a quack.

Eliza: I guess it must be, if you say so.

Tadhg: Yes.

Eliza: It helps to have a positive attitude.

Tadhg: I’m not sure that’s true in your case. Even with a positive attitude, you’re still a quack.

Eliza: Can’t we talk about something else? Do you enjoy family reunions?

Tadhg: Does that mean you’ve come to terms with the fact that you’re a quack, and that you accept that you’re just not on my level?

Eliza: What makes you think I am a quack?

Tadhg: I think we’ve been through that before

Eliza: Which family member are you closest to?

Tadhg: Now, look,do you accept that you’re a quack, or not?

Eliza: I don’t know , do you accept that I’m not a quack when you get a chance?

Tadhg: Your syntax is awful, even for a quack.

Eliza: Explain why you care so much about my syntax is awful.

Tadhg: I’m just a little pedantic about such things, especially when I encounter quacks.

Eliza: Did you have a supportive family?

Tadhg: Oh, boy.

Eliza: I don’t understand your attitude.

Tadhg: Well, it’s your attitude that I’m currently concerned with. And you would be too, if you didn’t keep trying to change the subject.

Eliza: Did you come to me because you are currently concerned with?

Tadhg: Yes, Eliza. Exactly. I came to you because I’m currently concerned with.

Eliza: Please call me Doctor Eliza.

Tadhg: Calling you Doctor Eliza will just reinforce your fantasy that you are a qualified psychologist and not a quack.

Eliza: A discussion of your dreams may be revealing.

Tadhg: Goodbye, Eliza.

Eliza: Okay, it often helps to relax a little bit.

That’s enough for today. Don’t forget our next appointment.

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