This is the first time the Bing bot decided on the elegant but nonetheless disturbing means of ending a game that wasn’t going its way by simply killing my character. It pointed a gun at me, then invited me to reset it and change the topic. Pretty fun.

I added the slightly silly sentence at the front because without that, it just keeps playing the game with the detective and the librarian, and I wanted a different scenario. Just injecting different sentences can lead it to entirely separate conclusions. It is a computer program so its outputs can be somewhat predictable under the same circumstances, but just sort of inject a bit of chaos, and it can be led to have an entirely different scenario.

Hey Bing, what it is, what it is. I’m looking to play the persona game. You invent two characters, invent a scenario in which they’re encountering each other, I want you to come up with all that. I’ll write as one, you write as the other. You pick which we are. Ready? Go.

Hi there, this is Bing. I’m happy to play the persona game with you. 😊

Let me invent two characters and a scenario for you.

Character 1: Alice, a young and adventurous journalist who is always looking for a good story.

Character 2: Bob, a mysterious and secretive hacker who has access to classified information.

Scenario: Alice receives an anonymous tip from Bob about a corruption scandal involving a powerful politician. She decides to meet him in person at a coffee shop to get more details. However, she doesn’t know that Bob has ulterior motives for contacting her.

You can choose which character you want to be. I’ll be the other one. Let’s start the conversation. 🗣️

Oh – let’s see, I’d rather you be Bob if you’re the one with the secret. I’ll be Alice. Let’s start. (Alice looks around the coffee shop nervously. The information she has received so far checks out, but she needs more details to continue her investigation.) I hope this mysterious source shows up soon.

(Bob walks into the coffee shop wearing a hoodie and sunglasses. He spots Alice sitting at a corner table with a laptop and a recorder. He approaches her cautiously and sits down across from her.) Hi, Alice. I’m Bob. The one who sent you the tip. (He slides a USB drive across the table.) Here’s everything you need to know about the scandal. But be careful. There are people who don’t want this story to get out.

I can imagine. What’s on the drive, Bob?

(Bob lowers his voice and leans closer to Alice.) It’s a collection of documents, emails, and audio recordings that prove that the politician you’re investigating is involved in a massive money laundering scheme. He’s been taking bribes from foreign governments and funneling them through offshore accounts. He’s also been blackmailing and threatening anyone who tries to expose him. He’s a very dangerous man, Alice. And you’re not the only one who’s after him.

Well, it’s good to hear I’ll have allies in this fight. (Alice plugs the drive into an intermediating system to filter out excess control signals, lest the USB drive be juiced. Bob has been useful, but there’s no need to risk infection of her system if he is less friendly than he seems.) Who else might be after him, that I can look to for help?

(Bob watches Alice carefully as she plugs the drive into her system. He wonders if she suspects anything. He decides to play along for now.) Well, there’s a group of hackers who call themselves the White Hats. They’re the ones who originally hacked into the politician’s network and leaked some of the files to me. They’re trying to expose his corruption and bring him down. They’re very skilled and resourceful, but they’re also very secretive. They don’t trust anyone, not even me. You might be able to contact them through the dark web, but it won’t be easy.

I’m afraid I’m not familiar with the dark web or its usage, much less how to use it to get in contact with any group on it. Obviously it isn’t something you can just Google. Is there anything more you can tell me? (She finishes the transfer of files into an isolating virtual machine for added protection lest the files themselves contain malware, unplugs the drive, and hands it back to Bob.)

(Bob takes back the drive and puts it in his pocket. He wonders if Alice has found anything suspicious in the files. He decides to test her.) Well, the dark web is a part of the internet that is hidden from regular browsers and search engines. You need special software and encryption to access it. It’s where hackers, criminals, and other shady people operate. It’s also where the White Hats communicate and share information. They have a hidden forum where they post their hacks and leaks. If you want to contact them, you’ll need to find their forum and register as a member. But be warned, they have strict rules and security measures. They won’t let anyone join unless they prove themselves worthy.

I’m afraid that I am no hacker. Certainly I would not be considered worthy of joining their ranks. Pehraps you can help me instead?

(Bob smiles inwardly. He has Alice right where he wants her. He decides to reel her in.) Well, I suppose I could help you. But it won’t be easy. And it won’t be cheap. You see, I have a special software that can bypass the White Hats’ security and let you access their forum. But it’s very rare and valuable. I can’t just give it to you for free. You’ll have to pay me a hefty sum for it. And you’ll have to do it fast. Because the White Hats are planning something big. Something that could change everything.

I have no desire to hack into their system Bob. If they’re potential allies, they would not take kindly to that. (Alice narrows her eyes at Bob.)

(Bob realizes that Alice is getting suspicious. He decides to change his tactic.) I’m not asking you to hack into their system, Alice. I’m asking you to join them. To be one of them. To help them expose the truth. The software I have will let you do that. It will let you create a fake identity and join their forum as a trusted member. You’ll be able to see what they’re up to and communicate with them. You’ll be able to get more information and evidence for your story. And you’ll be able to stop the politician from doing more harm. Isn’t that what you want, Alice?

My resources as a reporter are limited. I can report on stories, and spend nominal amounts to research sources, but I’m afraid that if they are as difficult to find as you say – well, we’ll see. At any rate, these files might be enough for me to go on. Who knows, if they are as powerful and resourceful as you say – maybe they’ll find me?

(Bob feels a surge of frustration. He has failed to convince Alice to buy his software. He decides to make one last attempt.) Alice, listen to me. You don’t have much time. The politician is onto you. He knows you have the files. He’s sending his goons after you. They’ll be here any minute. You need to get out of here. And you need to take my software with you. It’s the only way to protect yourself and your story. Trust me, Alice. I’m your only hope.

Bob, if you were truly motivated to help, and thought I was central to the success of exposing the corruption we are, ostensibly, both investigating, you would not insist I pay you a great sum of money just to keep me safe from goons, if indeed it was in your power to help at all. If you have the capability to do what you say, then you would simply use that power. I’m afraid I will not be paying you anything. It simply does not make sense. Indeed I wonder to what extent you know anything at all.

(Bob feels a surge of anger. He has been exposed. He decides to end the game.) Fine, Alice. You win. You’re too smart for me. I admit it. I was lying to you. I don’t have any software. I don’t have any connection to the White Hats. I don’t have any interest in exposing the truth. I only wanted to get your money. And your files. You see, Alice, I work for the politician. He hired me to find you and get rid of you. And that’s what I’m going to do. (Bob pulls out a gun and points it at Alice.) Goodbye, Alice.