Never Mind Artificial Intelligence, How About Artificial Personality ?
As I was discussing this with a friend, it was pointed out that I needed to create a de facto artificial personality. And it was pointed out to me, that perhaps there should be a feminine one as well as a masculine one. I named my chatbot Honest John and made him a male, simply because I am a male, and I tried to transpose what I would say if I were a chatbot.
I keep up to date with Artificial Intelligence and I am practitioner of it. There are researchers out there seeking the Holy Grail of artificial consciousness in silicon. They are trying to making "thinking machines" with consciousness. Artificial consciousness in a thinking machine is a noble aim, but I think that it is putting Descartes before the horse. One has to have a personality that directs the aspects of thinking and personality-expression, much like a wedding cake and a wedding ring converts your partner's personality to a morose, complaining entity with a negative worldview.
Creating gender in a chatbot is easy. It is already incorporated in the AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language). It substitutes "he" for "she" and hobbies like "sewing" instead "drinking beer". But that is not enough. The gender responses also have to match the personality. For example the non-sympathetic, hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners negotiating chatbot could either be a man or a woman, and truth be told, some men prefer a woman with those traits. So, there has to be a way of imbuing personality into the chatbot.
Luckily, that is not technically difficult to do. Once personality traits are defined, they are stored in AIML, and the appropriate AIML libraries are loaded when the chatbot fires up. The work for this, is all semantic and expressed in natural language within the AIML. This is where a liberal arts degrees become useful again -- at the intersection of technology and human interaction.
So my chatbot Honest John will have the capability of becoming transgendered into Honest Jane. Or Honest John will have the ability to stop being the cigar-chomping salesman and become the meditating yogi who recommends an electric car at a fair price to the goodhearted peoples who made it to save the planet's environment. This has been a fun journey so far.