Link of the day: ChaCha search engine

I was reading a post on 100 alternative search engines over at /. .org, taking an interest in the Artificial Intelligence searches. We all remember AskJeeves, which was supposed to be within the AI class of engines, but it never worked fully according to plan. I stumbled over a link to ChaCha Search which has Guided Searches and randomply put in "How old can an elephant become?" to see what happened. Here’s a transcript:

Status: Connecting …
Status: Looking for a guide …
Status: Connected to guide: BrendaC
BrendaC: Welcome to ChaCha!
BrendaC: Hello there!
You: Hello
You: What is this?
BrendaC: Search engine.
You: And you are?
BrendaC: Brenda
You: Man or machine?
BrendaC: Do you still need the info you requested?
BrendaC: Woman
You: sorry
BrendaC: It’s ok :)
You: I was just referred here to test out the guided version.
You: So, you are live support in finding stuff?
BrendaC: Yes
You: Neat. You happy with that?
BrendaC: Yes
BrendaC: Passes the time and make money.
You: Well, sorry to have taken your time. I just came here to check this out, so:)
You: have a nice day!
BrendaC: You too…..thanks
BrendaC: Thank you for using ChaCha!
Status: Session ended.

I had jumped to the conclusion that the Guided Search was some kind of AskJeeves-type of narrowing down alternatives. Instead they actually have paid people who guide the surfer to the right answers. People Powered Search. I almost felt bad for having wasted her time with my nonsense search string. Should’ve asked her out for dinner, to make it all right again. I already tried to talk Eliza into a date. Talk about artificial intelligence, huh?

One thought on “Link of the day: ChaCha search engine”

  1. I contacted Eliza as I felt I really needed her back then. Check it:
    Eliza JS: Hello. My name is Eliza JS. Tell me, what’s on your mind?
    Guest: I need you
    Eliza JS: So you feel I…
    Guest: Yeah?
    Eliza JS: I see. Tell me more.
    Guest: What’s there to tell?
    Eliza JS: What answer would please you the most?
    Guest: Yes?
    Eliza JS: And what does that suggest to you?
    Guest: You’re a whore?
    Eliza JS: What makes you think I am a whore?
    Guest: Your answer just back then?
    Eliza JS: Why are you concerned about my answer just back then?
    Guest: Because you wondered.
    Eliza JS: Is that the real reason?
    Guest: Yes.
    Eliza JS: Takk the Leaper
    Guest: Pwnd!
    Eliza JS: I see. Tell me more.
    Guest: I see. Tell me more.
    Eliza JS: Go ahead. I’m listening…
    Guest: Go ahead. I’m listening…
    Eliza JS: How long have you been listening?
    Guest: How long have you been listening?
    Eliza JS: Are such questions on your mind often?
    Guest: Are such questions on your mind often?
    Eliza JS: What about your own mind often?
    Guest: What about your own mind often?
    Eliza JS: Have you asked anyone else?
    Guest: Have you asked anyone else?
    Eliza JS: We were discussing you–not me.
    Guest: We were discussing you–not me.
    Eliza JS: We were discussing you–not me.
    Guest: We were discussing you–not me
    Eliza JS: Are you sure I –not you?
    Guest: Are you sure I –not you?
    Eliza JS: Why are you interested in whether or not I am sure you –not I/me?
    Guest: Why are you interested in whether or not I am sure you –not I/me?
    Eliza JS: Would you prefer if I were not interested in whether or not you are sure I/me –not you/you?
    Guest: Would you prefer if I were not interested in whether or not you are sure I/me –not you/you?
    Eliza JS: Perhaps you would like to be sure you/you –not I/me/I/me…
    Guest: Perhaps you would like to be sure you/you –not I/me/I/me…
    Eliza JS: We can talk about me later. Now back to you…
    Guest: We can talk about me later. Now back to you…
    Eliza JS: Are you sure?
    Guest: Are you sure?
    Eliza JS: Why are you interested in whether or not I am sure?

    And then the story continued in the same fashion. Man we had a blast back in the ol’ days…

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