back to article What do voters want? An IRL Maybot? Sure, give that a whirl

A local Tory candidate has suggested the party creates a chatbot to up its digital cred and boost engagement with voters. Its name? Theresa Maybot. The idea is mooted in an apparently straight-faced blogpost on Conservative Home by Leon Emirali, a "media entrepreneur" who co-founded digital PR agency Crest and is a candidate …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hear Microsoft have got an AI chat bot going spare that would be perfect for the Tory party.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Imagine if they trained the AI on Theresa May's conference speech...

  2. Chloe Cresswell

    Surely a simple one will suffice?

    All it needs to say is "brexit means brexit" and "strong and stable", who'd notice the difference?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Nobody would, I doubt any of them have passed the Turing test.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I doubt any politicians can pass the Turing test.

    2. Vulch

      Frankie and Benjy Mouse should be able to help with that.

    3. Oliver Mayes

      "That would be an ecumenical matter."

  3. Alister

    users can ask 'what's going on with Brexit?' and be given a bitesize, conversational overview of the progress being made".

    "We are still waiting for the economic impact assessments"

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      I thought we'd decided they were crap and weren't necessary anyway?

      Lovely sand this, isn't it?

  4. aenikata

    Would it also have a submarine function, like the existing Maybot?

  5. Steve the Cynic
    Joke

    Great...

    users can ask 'what's going on with Brexit?' and be given a bitesize, conversational overview of the progress being made".

    Is this what we've come to? Automated soundbites?

    (Shuffles off mumbling to himself.)

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Great...

      Somehow, I'd feel better listening to the computer.

      Reminds me of the scene in "Batteries Not Included" where Alan Abernathy asks to talk to a computer rather carry on the support script.

  6. Salestard

    Except it wouldn't be AI

    Because once they find out how much AI costs, and how much dealings they'd need to have with long-haired liberal hippy IT types to make one, it'll get dropped faster than an anvil down a well. It'd have to be watered down a bit price-wise, and they'd need to be sure of it'll do nothing but drift centre-right, be fluent in non-speak, and be of sufficiently mature technology that their core supporter base can cope with.

    It's got some keen young tory intern behind mIRQ written all over it, this one.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No matter what they build - they still have the problem of enticing people to see them.

    Anyone visiting their site is almost certainly going to be one of the faithful already.

  8. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Knock, Knock ....... Who's There? AI Gift Horse :-) I Kid U Not

    I second that party suggestion and would offer Alien Assistants au fait in Live Operational Virtual Environment Fields ..... for there are countless numbers of them to Explore and Exploit/Populate and Remote Anonymously Command and Control/Manage with Advanced IntelAIgent Virtual Government Services ...... Drivering Creative Provision of Assets and Logistics for Heavenly Tasks.

    One does well to note such is an Almighty Weapon too and thus is Access to ITsSecrets are Securely Protected/Extremely Selective.

    There comes a Stage though where the specific sharing of Vital Future Secrets can easily be transmitted freely online, safe in the knowledge that only a Few made of the Right Stuff will be enabled and able to more fully comprehend the course of Future Travel and Virtual Flight Plans made possible by such Vital Future Secrets Sharing

    The Posit here is that Now is such a Stage ..... and facilities for all of its utilities are readily available for Current Use/Present Works.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Knock, Knock ....... Who's There? AI Gift Horse :-) I Kid U Not

      Is one advised to directly share the AI Gift Horse up above there with services held responsible and accountable here

      It would be Top Table Manners, and Impolite to be Totally Silent and Super Stealthy over such Futures as Really Matter and are so Amenable.

      What say El Regers? An Up Vote, or otherwise, would surely indicate your best wishes and require a lively response validating your wishes ..... thus proving the fact before the fact with fiction a Staunch Stealthy Ally.

      cc ..... Carrie Symonds, Conservative Director of Communications

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: Knock, Knock ....... Who's There? AI Gift Horse :-) I Kid U Not

        As long as it's funded by Central Office and not the public at large (or small or anything in between) I think it's worth it.

        Though I also suspect that most of the bandwidth will be taken up by those of a Daily Mail persuasion busy telling No. 10 how it SHOULD BE DONE!

      2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Something in the Air Targeting No 10 ... for Any Sign of Advanced IntelAIgent Potential Within

        Moving things on apace ..... into Virgin AI Space and Virtual Terrain Team Territory in Live Operational Virtual Environments.

        Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones. .... Donald Rumsfeld

        Well, it surely cannot be said that a certain particular and peculiar unknown was/is totally unknown to the currently seated Conservative Party government machine and Parliamentary Operating System whenever novel intel and seed feed info is so directly freely shared with recent party appointees/annointees and its Director of Communications. ......

        @carriesymonds You have mail, Carrie ..... Pick IT up here ..... https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2018/01/18/maybot_irl_conservative_tech/#c_3399451

        Tweeted Thu 18 Jan 19:10

        Something in the Air/Thunderclap Newman

        LOVE is in the Air

    2. PNGuinn
      Childcatcher

      Re: Knock, Knock ....... Who's There? AI Gift Horse :-) I Kid U Not

      Would it be possible, I wonder, to plug the input to the Botty into the output from amanfromMars?

      Job done, Central Office happy, Voters much enlightened.

      Thanks, the consultancy invoice is in the post.

      >> With this icon I'm sure I can't fail.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Knock, Knock ....... Who's There? AI Gift Horse :-) I Kid U Not

        Would it be possible, I wonder, to plug the input to the Botty into the output from amanfromMars? ....PNGuinn

        Of course it is possible, PNGuinn, and over HiFiWiFi are strong and stable connections protected from physical harm in virtual assaults ....... and that makes them practically almighty.

        Any berthing and birthing problems would be Botty failings.

  9. Simon Harris

    The Thick Of It

    The idea is mooted in an apparently straight-faced blogpost on Conservative Home by Leon Emirali, a "media entrepreneur"

    On reading that my mind immediately jumped to PR guru Stewart Pearson.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: The Thick Of It

      Now we know who the real Steve Bong is!

  10. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Q> Explain Brexit ...

    A> In the post Maastricht European-republic it is known as a 'syntax error', "what?", "FIIK" or "doh!". It is a situation where a few people earning lots of money and wielding almost autocratic levels of political power force many adminitsrators to work massively hard with the aim of looking as if they are performing the will of the people, whilst at the same time preserving or increasing the income levels and power of the autocracy.

  11. SVV

    Get with the hip new craze daddio!

    Hmmm. If as a "media enrtepreneur" you don't realise that this will be roundly mocked by everybody and willl have nothing but abuse hurled at it in the hope of eliciting humorous replies once it's developed and put online, you are more than a bit shit at your job and your "Digital PR Agency" is obviously not worth hiring for any work.

    I really would like to see them waste a fortune on this. However, should they want a free open source version, I have handily provided a highly realistic implementation below, using the latest in AI technology :

    10 Input("What issue are you concerned about ?", issue$)

    20 Print ("I have been very clear that the government takes " + issue$ + " very seriously and we will fix it for you, unlike the last lanour government which is repsponsible for everything bad including all the problems with " + issue$)

    30 Goto 10

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Get with the new hip craze daddio!

      Howdy, SVV,

      The systemic problem for governments is surely as you have shown ...... scripting errors. Altered and/or AdultERated Instructions are required for Beta Input/SMARTR Output and in so doing Create Whole New Bigger Picture Trails to Navigate and Colonise with Populations.

      And let All of Us here and there propose that be an Engaging In The Beginning Start Point ..... for Virtually Immaculate Drivers/those Wheelers and Dealers Alive when Everything is a'Happening.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Get with the hip new craze daddio!

      I suggest you get a demo running, send them a link and an invoice for £250K - for an extra £100K they can have an animated Treeza avatar.

  12. Rich 11 Silver badge

    The genius of Crace

    Even pot plants will struggle to get any sense out of the chat bot.

    1. PNGuinn
      Trollface

      Re: The genius of Crace

      "Even pot plants will struggle to get any sense out of the chat bot."

      Before or after smoking themselves?

  13. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Pint

    I find this kind of "humor" quite disturbing.

    I actually laughed.

    Additionally, any malfunctions and mis-statements could be ascribed to "Russian Hacking" or "Nork interference". This is a tech challenge that is winnable.

    Then the Turing Test: Will Jean-Claude Juncker notice something is off.

  14. PNGuinn
    Go

    Simple choice really.

    1. The risky option.* Do a Tay, Bags I get a chance to help train it.

    2. Get some of the better bullsh*t generators off the net and randomly concatenate their outputs**

    * Not that risky really! We all know where that one will end up.

    ** This is really the high risk option. Some of the brighter dimwits at Tory Central Office might think it a wizard plan to pipe that into the next Tory manifesto.

  15. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    May Bots do Better ..... in a Risky TakeOver with Risky AIMakeOver and Vice Versa

    2. Get some of the better bullsh*t generators off the net and randomly concatenate their outputs** .... PNGuinn

    Be careful with that proposal, PNGuinn, for the best of them will autonomously provide leading input to output which remote outputters will not have absolute command and control over.

    Some though would posit that a prime reason to beta test the program/project, given the dire straits level of serial incompetence and ineffectuality presently being demonstrated in the global field of public opinion by bots in Tory guise.

    However, whenever the state of government affairs is akin to ....You can take a horse to water but you can't make a dumb animal drink if their brains are not working properly .... then is there a Houston, we have a Problem Problem.

  16. fangster

    Here is our local Tory MP trying to engage with the youth on twitter: http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/news/hertfordshire-news/hertford-stortford-mp-mark-prisk-1087950

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