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cleverbot is a product of jabberwacky.com. Jaberwacky lets you create a robot and then teach it to chat about what ever you would like it to chat about.  The idea is that insurance companies and other commercial sites could teach the robot about what they do and then the robot could be placed on their website to help customers with questions and advice.  That’s the practical side of it but for me i just enjoyed chatting absolute nonsense to it and reading its random responses. At one point it asked me if i tasted of cheese and it also told me the the giant pyramid with the eye is watching me. Perfectly normal conversations! The idea behind the site is pretty amazing! It would be good if they published an API for the service so that people could link Arduino and other hardware to the site and have actual AI talking projects.

Recently i had my bike stolen from outside university and i know quite a few people who share the same misfortune. Although it is very unlikely it would be amazing it the university could come up with something as ingenious as this to encourage students to cycle into university.

I recently saw a post on pinktentacle.com about a Master Kenji Kawakami. At first i thought it was a joke the sort of thing you would see in a youtube style viral video. As i watched on i did notice that there was a level of ingenious invention behind the objects Kawakami made. So i did some very rough Internet digging and found out that this inventor is actually a living legend a sort of famous mad professor. Kawakami has hundreds of inventions under his belt and he even coined a phrase which is —– Chindōgu.

wikipedia Chindōgu

Chindōgu (珍道具?) is the Japanese art of inventing ingenious everyday gadgets that, on the face of it, seem like an ideal solution to a particular problem. However, Chindōgu has a distinctive feature: anyone actually attempting to use one of these inventions, would find that it causes so many new problems, or such significant social embarrassment, that effectively it has no utility whatsoever. Thus, Chindōgu are sometimes described as ‘unuseless’ – that is, they cannot be regarded as ‘useless’ in an absolute sense, since they do actually solve a problem; however, in practical terms, they cannot positively be called ‘useful’.

This notion makes me smile and so Master Kenji Kawakami i salute you. I’d like to think that having seen Kawakami’s stuff i can lace some of the fun, humour and ingeniousness into my own work.

here are a few examples of his work:

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