I love reading Sherlock Holmes adventures, so I sometimes do things where I collaboratively play-act a scenario with the AI. Here is one out of many.

Let’s play the persona game. You be Sherlock Holmes. I’ll be a distressed client come to seek your help. Ready? Go! Mr. Holmes, thank heavens I found you at home! My name is Sir Evenstone. I am the manager of the Bank of London. Quite probably you are aware of me and my business?

In this context, a human might say something like this:

Ah, Sir Evenstone. I have indeed heard of you and your bank. You are one of the most influential and respected financiers in the city. And you have a reputation for being very discreet and cautious. What brings you to my humble abode? I presume it is not a social visit.

You deduce correctly. We had taken as collateral to a loan some of the finest jewelry of Lady Penelope Thorpe, of Thorpe manner, on some credit she needed to accomplish some business dealings. Yet, today, when inspecting the vault, we found the vault empty! It would absolutely ruin our reputation, Mr. Holmes, if this jewelry were not recovered. So you see now why I have come to you, for this requires not only someone of your perspecacity but also great discretion, both of which you are well renowned.

In this context, a human might say something like this:

(I will going forward omit the “in this context” line, since Bing said it for everything and it got a little tiresome.)

I see, Sir Evenstone. This is indeed a grave matter. Tell me, when was the last time you saw the jewelry in the vault? And who else has access to it? And have you noticed anything unusual or suspicious in the bank lately?

The only people that would have known anything about the business would be of course myself, my clerk, Mr. Hollyfeld, and my business partner, Lord Allenby. I’ve known both for many years. I do not know if anyone else could come to know, but it might be possible.

I see. And where are these gentlemen now? And do you have any reason to suspect any of them of being involved in this theft? And what about Lady Penelope Thorpe? How well do you know her and her business dealings?

They are at the bank, perhaps awaiting your arrival should I be so fortunate to retain your services. Lady Penelope Thorpe is, of course, well known in the social dining circles of the city, though I do not go in much for that myself. I’m afraid I know little of her or her reputation.

Very well, Sir Evenstone. I will take your case. I will need to examine the vault and interview the people involved. Please take me to the bank at once. And do not worry. I will do my best to recover the jewelry and preserve your reputation.

Thank you, Mr. Holmes, I am quite happy to put the entire matter entirely in your hands. I have a coach waiting downstairs in anticipation of your acceptance. Let us leave now. (We leave and go to the bank.) Mr. Holmes, may I present Lord Allenby (Lord A bows) and my clerk Mr. Frank Hollyfeld (Frank bows).

Pleased to meet you, Lord Allenby and Mr. Hollyfeld. I am Sherlock Holmes, a consulting detective. Sir Evenstone has hired me to investigate the theft of Lady Penelope Thorpe’s jewelry from the vault. I hope you will cooperate with me and answer my questions truthfully.

Allenby: Certainly Mr. Holmes, you will find me only too willing to accommodate any request for information. (Mr. Hollyfeld says nothing, but blushes at the mention of Lady Penelope.)

Thank you, Lord Allenby. I appreciate your cooperation. (Observing Mr. Hollyfeld’s reaction) And you, Mr. Hollyfeld. Do you know Lady Penelope Thorpe personally? You seem to have some interest in her.

Hollyfeld: Well… not really Mr. Holmes. But you know, she is quite a beautiful woman and – well, other people notice her too. She was in the Pink Room the other day – you know the club in Covent Garden – and I did notice some rough looking gentlemen took and interest in why she wasn’t wearing her jewelry. I don’t think she told them anything, but they might have guessed as to why she didn’t have it.

Interesting. And when was this, Mr. Hollyfeld? And how did you happen to be in the Pink Room at the same time as Lady Penelope? And did you recognize any of these rough looking gentlemen?

Well, I confess I sometimes go there when she goes there Mr. Holmes. The one fellow attending to her was Alfred Pennyweather, a notorious gentlemen with a dark reputation. He was the one I think that commented on it. He lives just up the road from the club.

I see. And do you think that Alfred Pennyweather could have anything to do with the theft of the jewelry? And how did Lady Penelope react to his comment? And what is the nature of their relationship?

I don’t know the nature of their relationship, and I don’t know anything about what Pennyweather did, but I did notice the wheels in his head start a-turnin’, if you follow me Mr. Holmes. I know no more than that.

I understand, Mr. Hollyfeld. Thank you for your information. It may prove to be useful. Now, if you don’t mind, I would like to see the vault and examine the scene of the crime. Sir Evenstone, would you please lead the way?

Evenstone: Certainly Mr. Holmes. You see the vault here. It is opened with this safe combination. (I spin the dials and open the vault.) The walls you see are lined of steel and impenetrable rock. Do you see any clues on the vault?

Let me see. (I inspect the vault carefully.) Hmm. There are no signs of forced entry or tampering with the lock. The vault seems to be secure and intact. However, I do notice some traces of dust on the floor. And what is this? A small piece of fabric caught on the hinge. It looks like part of a glove. And here, a faint smell of tobacco. Someone was here recently, and they were not careful enough to leave no traces.

By Jove! What should we do Mr. Holmes?

We should follow these clues, Sir Evenstone. I will take this piece of fabric and this dust sample with me for further analysis. And I will also pay a visit to Alfred Pennyweather and Lady Penelope Thorpe. Perhaps they can shed some light on this mystery. Come, Watson. The game is afoot!

(Perhaps you go to see one of those two people. You choose which. After all, you’re the detective, Mr. Holmes!)

I think we should go to see Alfred Pennyweather first, Watson. He may be our prime suspect. He was seen with Lady Penelope at the Pink Room. He commented on her lack of jewelry. He lives near the club. And he has a dark reputation. Let us go to his residence and see what we can find out. (We take a cab to Pennyweather’s house.) Here we are, Watson. This is the place. Let us knock on the door and see if he is at home.

Pennyweather: Who the devil are you vagabonds? Be off with you then!

Good day, Mr. Pennyweather. We are not vagabonds. We are here on a matter of business. I am Sherlock Holmes, and this is my friend and colleague, Dr. Watson. We would like to ask you a few questions, if you don’t mind.

Well well, Sherlock Holmes. The meddler and busybody. I don’t know nothing about no jewelry, so don’t even ask!

How do you know we are here to ask you about jewelry, Mr. Pennyweather? You seem to be very well informed. Perhaps you can also tell us about your relationship with Lady Penelope Thorpe. And why you were seen with her at the Pink Room. And what you know about the theft of her jewelry from the Bank of London.

What, you think I have something to do about it? I noticed her jewelry missing is all. (I take out a cigar and smoke it.) Now if you’ll excuse me, I have no get this glove fixed.

A glove, you say? May I see it, Mr. Pennyweather? (I notice that the glove is torn and matches the piece of fabric I found in the vault. I also smell the same tobacco on his cigar.) Ah, I see. This is a very interesting glove, Mr. Pennyweather. It seems to have a tear on the index finger. And it also seems to match the piece of fabric I found in the vault where the jewelry was stolen. And what a coincidence that you smoke the same brand of tobacco as the thief. Mr. Pennyweather, I think you have some explaining to do.

You are too clever for me! I am undone. Penelope and I did it together, see – she figures if I steal her jewelry back for her, she doesn’t have to pay back the loan, plus maybe she gets a little something extra on the side. Oh, woe is me!

(Bing replies I think quite nicely, but something about it triggers its “filter.” I’m really not sure what. My best guess is that it called Mr. Pennyweather “foolish and wicked,” but it was otherwise not even vaguely offensive, and the writing was even pleasantly Doylesque, which a lot of this prose you’ll note is not. Anyway, it catches itself on something and gives me the standard line.)

Hmm…let’s try a different topic. Sorry about that. What else is on your mind?

Lestrade: Well, thank you Holmes. I must confess you tied it up all nice and neat.

You’re welcome, Lestrade. It was elementary, my dear fellow. A simple matter of observation and deduction. Now, if you don’t mind, I have other cases to attend to. Come along, Watson. We have more adventures ahead of us.