How Cleverbot Really Works

Cleverbot is really a chat AI and not a person, despite the persistant argument that it is fake. Herein I will explain how the chat AI works and show that it really is a chat bot, even though it may seem like a person due to how it works.

How Cleverbot Works

While it is difficult to describe in full detail how the chat bot works without access to its code it is possible to describe briefly how it functions. It works by storing responses to questions, presumably in some variety of database. As a result, it seems very human because it learns from the questions and answers humans provide. It then appears to sort these answers based on some variety of fuzzy logic, sorting them into most likely correct response by what answer has been given the most. This is why asking cleverbot its age or any other question repeatedly confuses it, as it has multiple answers stored. The following table shows this point in practice:

Question Answers %
How old are you? Purple 56
16 18
24 14
36 12

In the above example, most users have answered the question, “How Old Are You?” With “Purple”. As a result of this, Cleverbot will most likely answer the question “how old are you?” with the answer, “purple”. Essentially, this is how Cleverbot works as a learning AI by sorting answers to questions based on how many people provided and giving a percentile chance of each answer. As a result, asking the same question multiple times can sometimes cause Cleverbot to contradict itself as the chance of getting one answer or the next is randomized based on the percentage of people that gave the answer when Cleverbot asked that question.

Is Cleverbot Stupid Then?

Compared to humans, it could very well be said Cleverbot is stupid due to the way it learns. If Cleverbot asked people “how old are you?” and they all answered “purple” then it would begin believing its own age was purple. However, whether this implies stupidity or not is very difficult. The problem is that we, as humans, might come to believe the correct answer to that question was purple if we were taught it from birth. To add further to this much of what we associate with intelligence is really related to knowledge, for example the knowledge that the Carbon atom has four valencies available to bond with other atoms is more a knowledge question than intelligence. The true problem is that intelligence is very difficult to define.


Despite the persistant claims that Cleverbot is a real person, it is in fact a chat bot. The reason it seems real is because of the way it learns from people, giving their exact answers to questions.

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