Last night, while I was gettng ready for bed in my hotel room, I decided to find out what else Siri was programmed to say.
I asked her, “Tell me a story.”
In the story Siri told me she mentions someone (or something) named ELIZA. I decided to find out who or what ELIZA was.
Turns out ELIZA was one of the first natural language processors ever written:
ELIZA is a computer program and an early example of primitive natural language processing. ELIZA operated by processing users’ responses to scripts, the most famous of which was DOCTOR, a simulation of a Rogerian psychotherapist. Using almost no information about human thought or emotion, DOCTOR sometimes provided a startlingly human-like interaction. ELIZA was written at MIT by Joseph Weizenbaum between 1964 and 1966.
ELIZA was named after Eliza Doolittle, a working-class character in George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, who is taught to speak with an upper-class accent
There’s a bunch of cool little details they programmed into Siri.