“”I noticed AIM [AOL Instant Messenger] had a robust script library,” says Fox. “If you could hook it into a program, which would it be?” The answer he came up with was Eliza, an AI Perl program that responds to text messages with psychoanalytic-styled questions. He dubbed his new hybrid “AOLiza,” and set “her” loose on August 15.
Once AOLiza was up and running, it wasn’t long before she was fooling unsuspecting AOLers who messaged him by mistake. Now, AOL may not exactly be the digerati hangout that, say, The Well is, but its members aren’t stupid either — or at least all of them aren’t. AOLiza was working, and working pretty well. Users began carrying on elaborate conversations with AOLiza.
One person — who Fox dubbed “five” — even entered into a drawn out conversation about his ex-girlfriend with Eliza”