A Fox news chatbot passes the Turing test.

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
May 7 2009 8:07 PM

Glenn Beck, Chatterbot

An alternative history of Fox News.

(Continued from Page 3)

When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases—BESTIAL ATROCITIES, IRON HEEL, BLOODSTAINED TYRANNY, FREE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD, STAND SHOULDER TO SHOULDER—one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker's spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance towards turning himself into a machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved as it would be if he were choosing his words for himself. If the speech he is making is one that he is accustomed to make over and over again, he may be almost unconscious of what he is saying, as one is when one utters the responses in church. And this reduced state of consciousness, if not indispensable, is at any rate favorable to political conformity.

Although he did plenty of radio commentary in his day, one senses Orwell would have been a cable-news booker's nightmare.]

Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His  book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.

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