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Fwd: [BUG] missing ')' causes syntax error on next line

On 23/07/2020 11:51, Chris Angelico wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 23, 2020 at 9:17 AM dn via Python-list
> <python-list at> wrote:
>> However, questions remain:-
>> Robot: any machine or mechanical device that operates automatically with
>> humanlike skill
> What about a human that operates mechanically with merely robot-like
> skill? I'm pretty sure I've spoken to them on the phone many times.
Can't say - I've never tried to speak with @Ethan over the phone.

...and what do you call the robot which can't/won't operate by phone, 
and takes a week to respond to your email - and then often by asking for 
information previously provided, eg a certain book-seller's "Mr Neil 
would you please confirm that your voucher number is 12345?"

However, on the Turing machine side, I recall creating an abbreviated 
version for a University Open Day - way back in the seventies and when 
VDU-terminals were a novelty and thus curiosities.

The program worked in similar manner to the famous "Eliza" 
( - attempting to give an illusion 
of understanding and conversation. It stored a mere top-twenty phrases. 
When the user entered some text, it would randomly select one of these 
and 'reply'. The user was invited to give feedback, ie whether it was a 
good reply or not. These were used to score/grade the phrases. Then the 
user's data-entry was added to the 'database of phrases' in place of the 
existing phrase with the lowest score. Thus the conversation continued.

'On the day', many of our visitors were convinced that either the 
computer was capable of holding a conversation (? la Turing), or that 
there was a person hidden-away somewhere, providing the 'answers'.

Most telling, reviewing the 'database' at the end, showed twenty of the 
most innocuous phrases in English conversation - those which were so 
multi-purpose that they could be used in almost any situation (phatic 

You be sure to have a nice day, now!
Regards =dn