February 03, 2012 00:00 By The Nation 41,793 Viewed
Parents have complained to the Culture Ministry about people teaching the Simsimi robot computer application to use rude language, Culture Minister Sukumol Kunplome said yesterday.
Sukumol urged people to use the app appropriately and be aware that children could download Simsimi. He told the Culture Watch Centre that worried parents should contact agencies such as the ICT Ministry to tell the app owner to check the automatic texts.
People can download Simsimi onto iPhones, iPads and Android cellphones to chat with the robot, which automatically responds to questions with texts other users have sent. Users can chat with Simsimi right after downloading, but those who key in texts must register their country and phone numbers first.
While some users get funny responses, many have found the robot’s chatter to be rude. For example, if you type “Nai Luang” (His Majesty), it responds: “The one to worship above all” and “Long live the King”. If “Yingluck” is typed in, it responds “Madam Prime Minister” or “… and script reader”. To “Chuwit” it responds: “Beware of being exposed of wrongdoing” or “Damn, he closed my pub”. To “Jatuporn” it responds: “A red-shirt hero” or “a talkative toad”.
Culture Watch Centre director Ladda Tangsupachai said she would have the ICT Ministry to urge the app owner in Thailand to install a text-screening system and urged youngsters to use the app appropriately.
Amornwit Nakhonthap, an associate professor at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Education, said Simsimi was only a fad. Though the language used might be rude sometimes, there were many young people who knew the appropriate usage for such language, he said. He urged the authorities to supervise the Internet by blocking and screening inappropriate content.