The “Internet of Things” is mostly dumb things. I particularly dislike voice-activated things (because then you inevitably wind up with loud morons in the seat behind you on an airplane telling their cell phone “Hang up, please.”)
Back in the late 80s, I used to play in the MUDs and once, when I was bored, I stuck a sockets interface on the front of a friend’s implementation of Eliza, then logged it into a MUD to talk to people. The “conversations” went to a logfile so I could have a chuckle at them later. Then, a couple days after that, I noticed the logfile had gotten very large…
There was another ‘bot called “Julia” that was written by Michael Mauldin (then not a doctor or founder of Lycos) that had gotten into a conversation with Liz (my Eliza bot) and, since my code assumed a human was typing to it, as did Mauldin’s, they were talking fairly fast. They didn’t have much to say, really.
Some of us used to joke about attacking voice control systems by getting on a building’s Public Address system and saying “FORMAT C: /Y” very clearly.
Julia’s Page – Mauldin appears to have continued working on Julia for quite some time! She came in 4th out of 5 in the Loebner Prize contest for Turing tests.