Tag Archives: Alan Turing

Psychology: The truth about the paranormal

In the 21st Century, why do so many people still believe in the paranormal? David Robson discovers that there’s good reason we hold superstitions – and a few surprising benefits.

David RobsonBy David Robson via BBC Future

Soon after World War II, Winston Churchill was visiting the White House when he is said to have had an uncanny experience. Having had a long bath with a Scotch and cigar, he reportedly walked into the adjoining bedroom – only to be met by the ghost of Abraham Lincoln.lincoln ghost_300px Unflappable, even while completely naked, Churchill apparently announced: “Good evening, Mr President. You seem to have me at a disadvantage.” The spirit smiled and vanished.

His supposed contact with the supernatural puts Churchill in illustrious company. Arthur Conan Doyle spoke to ghosts through mediums, while Alan Turing believed in telepathy. Three men who were all known for their razor-sharp thinking, yet couldn’t stop themselves from believing in the impossible. You may well join them. According to recent surveys, as many as three quarters of Americans believe in the paranormal, in some form, while nearly one in five claim to have actually seen a ghost.

visions_200pxIntrigued by these persistent beliefs, psychologists have started to look at why some of us can’t shake off old superstitions and folk-lore. Their findings may suggest some hidden virtues to believing in the paranormal. At the very least, it should cause you to question whether you hold more insidious beliefs about the world.

Some paranormal experiences are easily explainable, based on faulty activity in the brain. Reports of poltergeists invisibly moving objects seem to be consistent with damage to certain regions of the right hemisphere that are responsible for visual processing; certain forms of epilepsy, meanwhile, can cause the spooky feeling that a presence is stalking you close by – perhaps underlying accounts of faceless “shadow people” lurking in the surroundings.

Out-of-body experiences, meanwhile, are now accepted neurological phenomena, while certain visual illusions could confound the healthy brain and create mythical beings. For example, one young Italian psychologist looked in the mirror one morning to find a grizzled old man staring back at him. His later experiments confirmed  .  .  .

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Cleverbot.com – a clever bot – speak to an AI with some Actual Intelligence?

Click The Image To Chat With CleverBot

Description (courtesy Wikipedia): Cleverbot is a web application that uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to hold conversations with humans.

Since being launched on the web in 1997, the number of conversations has exceeded 65 million. Unlike other chatterbots, Cleverbot’s responses are not programmed into it, but rather selected from phrases entered by humans in previous conversations. Humans type into the box below the Cleverbot logo and the system finds all of the keywords or an exact phrase matching the input and after searching through its saved conversations of previous chats, responds to the input by finding how a human responded to that input in past conversations when posed by Cleverbot,[2][3] although the commercial version of Cleverbot has more than one thousand requests per server, the ones hosted were for 1 or 2 people per server. This allowed more speed and quality of responses hosted by the artificial intelligence system.

I can tell you from experience, chatting with CleverBot can get a bit creepy at times. Some of the responses generated by CleverBot’s computer can seem so human-like.

From the CleverBot website:

PLEASE NOTE  –  Cleverbot learns from real people  –  things it says may seem inappropriate  –  use with discretion, and at YOUR OWN RISK

PARENTAL ADVICE  –  Visitors never talk to a human, however convincing it looks  –  the AI knows many topics  –  use ONLY WITH OVERSIGHT

Try conversing with CleverBot: Cleverbot.com – a clever bot – speak to an AI with some Actual Intelligence?.

Cleverbot.com – a clever bot – speak to an AI with some Actual Intelligence?

«Cleverbot is a web application that uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to hold conversations with humans.»

«Since being launched on the web in 1997, the number of conversations has exceeded 65 million. Unlike other chatterbots, Cleverbot’s responses are not programmed into it, but rather selected from phrases entered by humans in previous conversations. Humans type into the box below the Cleverbot logo and the system finds all of the keywords or an exact phrase matching the input and after searching through its saved conversations of previous chats, responds to the input by finding how a human responded to that input in past conversations when posed by Cleverbot,[2][3] although the commercial version of Cleverbot has more than one thousand requests per server, the ones hosted were for 1 or 2 people per server. This allowed more speed and quality of responses hosted by the artificial intelligence system.» (Description courtesy Wikipedia)

I can tell you from experience, chatting with CleverBot can get a bit creepy at times. Some of the responses generated by CleverBot’s computer can seem so human-like.

From the CleverBot website:

PLEASE NOTE  –  Cleverbot learns from real people  –  things it says may seem inappropriate  –  use with discretion, and at YOUR OWN RISK

PARENTAL ADVICE  –  Visitors never talk to a human, however convincing it looks  –  the AI knows many topics  –  use ONLY WITH OVERSIGHT

Try conversing with CleverBot: Cleverbot.com – a clever bot – speak to an AI with some Actual Intelligence?.

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