Siri and Eliza Have a Conversation

Eliza is an early computer program that served as an experiment in natural language processing. It was written at MIT by Joseph Weizenbaum in the mid-’60s and is best known as a simulation of a Rogerian psychotherapist. Siri, perhaps better known in today’s world, is a natural language personal digital assistant for iOS devices, released by Apple in 2011 as part of iOS 5.

This morning, I happened across a reddit post by user ReddInternet, showing Siri and Eliza (running on an Apple //e) engaged in a back and forth conversation. It is an amusing thing to behold, and I thought I would share it with readers. The poster drew inspiration from an earlier, similar exercise carried out by the father of Karateka, Jordan Mechner.

As it happens, my first experience with Eliza was through her inclusion in Electronic Arts’ Software Golden Oldies: Volume 1 collection, which was one of the first commercial packages available for the Amiga 1000, both of which I purchased in October of 1985.

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2 Responses to Siri and Eliza Have a Conversation

  1. Richard Jones says:

    It seems Golden Oldies Volume 1 was published by Software Country in 1986 for the Amiga.
    I’m currently looking for an original boxed copy. I played a copy of it in the 80’s on my Amiga 1000.

    • Blake Patterson says:

      This was the first piece of commercial software I owned for my Amiga 1000 back in October 1985. It was the first commercially available package for the Amiga, available at launch, as I recall. I no longer have it or the LP-style box (ahh, EA in the good old days) it came in, sadly. Good luck.

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