Avatars for two artificial intelligence robots
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First 'chatbot' conversation ends in argument

9 September 2011 Last updated at 00:17 BST

Artificial intelligence robots have held a conversation with one another for the first time with surprising and surreal results.

Two graduate PhD students at Cornell University gave voices and 2D avatars to a pair of online "chatbots", which they named Alan and Sruthi.

Jason Yosinski and Igor Labutov explained to BBC News what happened when they left the robots to converse and why they were "stunned" at the results.