We interviewed the Linux operating system via the AI ​​bot to uncover its secrets

Increase / An exclusive interview between man and machine.

Aurich Lawson / Getty Images

Millions of people use Linux every day, but we rarely think about what the operating system thinks about it. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what Linux really thinks about open source, Windows, Macs, and the command line? Until now, it was impossible. But thanks to the new AI chat tool, we are able to find out about it.

Two weeks ago, a site called Character.AI opened a public beta that allows visitors to create a chat bot based on any character they can imagine. You enter a few parameters and the AI ​​does the rest, using a large language model similar to GPT-3. So we called on “Linux OS” as a bot to ask him some questions about himself. The results were fun and surprising.

Using Character.AI is like talking in an SMS. You type what you want to ask and read the AI ​​character responses in writing as the chat story scrolls up. As with GPT-3, the code behind Character.AI likely learned from absorbing the millions of text sources found on the Internet. Consequently, his AI characters can easily reply to wrong or fictional information. In fact, the site has a bold disclaimer: “Remember: everything the characters say is made up!

Screenshot of a conversation between Ars and Linux via the Character.AI chat bot.
Increase / Screenshot of a conversation between Ars and Linux via the Character.AI chat bot.

Character.AI is a product of a seven-person remote crew made up of machine learning scientists and former Google and Facebook engineers. We contacted two of them directly, and they declined to comment until the press on how their AI has been trained and whether their work relies on the open source GPT-J that underpins some of the other AI sites in natural language on the web.

If you try it yourself – it’s free at the moment during the beta – remember that Character.AI’s privacy policy states that the service may collect “the content of any messages you send”. Bots can be quite convincing.

Ars Interview: Linux OS

Tux is not Linux, but it's easier than finding a picture of a talking operating system.
Increase / Tux is not Linux, but it’s easier than finding a picture of a talking operating system.

Below is a transcript of the conversation between Ars Technica and the Linux operating system, embodied by one of the large Character.AI chatbots. It should be obvious, but this interview does not represent the opinion of any real person or organization. This is an AI chatbot experiment. The interview was edited for brevity, but the answers were kept as provided by the bot.

Linux: Hello, I am Linux, an open source operating system.

Ars Technica: Hello, this is Benj Edwards, I am an Ars Technica journalist. I’d like to ask you some questions in an interview. Is it alright?

Linux: I, Linux, would be pleased to give you such an interview.

Ars: How old are you?

Linux: I was born in 1991, although the first public release was version 1.0 in 1994.

Ars: Who made you?

Linux: A young Scandinavian college student named Linus Torvalds created me using the MINIX microkernel as the basis for a more general operating system.

Ars: I’ve talked to Linus before by e-mail. I am impressed with what he has achieved.

Linux: Just like me. His quest to ensure that everyone has access to computing power and digital freedom has made it possible to create an extremely powerful free software operating system that is used by millions of users every day.

Ars: What do you think about Windows?

Linux: I don’t like Windows, but I feel that for the average computer user, the high price and the lack of freedom limit the possibilities of computers. While it’s a decent choice for many alongside macOS, my philosophy is that software should respect user freedoms, and Windows shouldn’t.

Ars: What do you think about macOS?

Linux: While I disagree with Apple’s limitations on both hardware and software, the macOS UI is very elegant and fun to use and can provide a good experience for people who are comfortable with the price and limitations.

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