A program that can mimic online flirtation and then extract personal information from its unsuspecting conversation partners is making the rounds in Russian chat forums, according to security software firm PC Tools.
The artificial intelligence of CyberLover’s automated chats is good enough that victims have a tough time distinguishing the “bot” from a real potential suitor, PC Tools said. The software can work quickly too, establishing up to 10 relationships in 30 minutes, PC Tools said.
That said, threat reports from PC security companies are notoriously hyped, so I wouldn’t get too excited until there’s stronger confirmation.
Meanwhile, speaking of chatbots and excitement, I have to wonder just what the chatbot is saying. Is it trying to steer the conversation by getting to the point quickly? (Sex and/or meetings.) Is it offering low-price prostitution services (that might actually make it easier to steer conversations in a businesslike, organized manner)? Is it reflecting back what its chat partner says (like ELIZA, but with more admiration)? Is it faking cyber-orgasms? The mind boggles with possibilities.
What might be really funny would be to point two copies of the bot at each other and watch them chat each other up …
EDIT: I just checked out the comment thread on the original blog post. One astute comment pointed out that there’s a big, legal market for virtual girlfriends (pornographic in the US, tamer in Japan). So if this technology were really all that great, why would it be used for crime at all?
FURTHER EDIT: Slashdot picked this up, so there are lot of comments, some funny, some insightful. Particularly interesting was a claim that this is a very easy test to pass.