11 Signs You're Talking to an AI Bot – MUO – MakeUseOf

Worried you’re actually talking to AI? As AI bots become commonplace, there’s more risk of being caught out. Here are some signs to watch out for.
Recent advancements in language models make it much harder to detect bots online. AI closely mimics natural language. Even tech-savvy users would need time to filter advanced AI-based chatbots from real humans manually.
That said, it’s not impossible. Here are some telltale signs that indicate you’re talking to an AI-powered bot.
Bots tend to echo questions and statements. They repeat user input for clarity and context, minimizing the risk of AI hallucination. Since AI responds to inputs, it will only produce accurate, reliable output if it understands your requests.
Parroting also helps chatbots keep conversations going naturally. AI can’t empathize with users—it merely generates the corresponding template response that every input triggers. For example, when talking to ChatGPT, the bot echoes and confirms our statement in the second sentence.
But regular conversations rarely flow like that. Humans would likely agree with a simple yes—the above statement doesn’t need an in-depth explanation.
You’re likely talking to a bot if you get super speedy replies. Humans only type around 40 words per minute and need time to process messages. No one can instantly type lengthy paragraphs. Even real-time chats have one or two minute gaps between responses—or longer if one party is preoccupied.
Alternatively, AI can compose 500-word essays in seconds. It uses language models to generate pre-programmed responses and natural language processing (NLP) to analyze human input quickly. Bots use these technologies to maintain their lightning-fast response rates.
It’s no secret that people log off the internet. Even the most chronically online individuals need time for their personal needs, like eating, sleeping, and using the toilet. You can’t always expect instant responses.
However, chatbots can respond around the clock. They quickly compose lengthy, complex output and perform pre-programmed tasks 24/7/365. Online platforms only become unresponsive if you have poor internet connectivity.
You might be talking to AI if you consistently receive error-free, grammatically correct messages. Everyone commits slip-ups. Typos, grammatical errors, misspelled words, and missing punctuation marks are common in casual conversations.
The absence of these blunders actually sounds robotic. AI eliminates mistakes by following pre-programmed templates, often leading to stiff, redundant sentences. They’ll have the same phrasing, tone, and length.
Bots perform specific functions. Conversations must head in the direction intended by developers. AI isn’t sentient, so all its responses are programmed beforehand.
For instance, chatbot plugins for eCommerce shops engage with customers. They guide them through listings and explain offers, but their responses are limited to brand-relevant questions. Site visitors can’t get these chatbots to perform actions outside their scope.
The same rule applies to other bots. They’ll keep directing you toward the same topics, regardless of what irrelevant request you input. Some are pretty discreet, but less-sophisticated bots will merely repeat the same generic, half-hearted responses.
Despite the recent advancements in AI, chatbots still occasionally produce inaccuracies. These issues stem from human errors. Platforms with poor training, limited datasets, and dated language models are most prone to AI biases.
Developers understand these limitations. Although they proactively work toward more accurate platforms, addressing even minor bugs could take weeks. In the meantime, disclaimers help manage some liabilities.
Take ChatGPT as an example. It starts with the phrase “As an AI model” when answering opinion-based questions.
AI bots are limited to the information in their datasets. You’ll get vague, pointless responses if they can neither analyze nor answer your question. Any statements made might still be coherent and grammatically correct. However, they’ll beat around the bush, turn around your questions, or say something completely irrelevant.
For example, ChatGPT can’t provide specific advice about mental health—it only echoes generic advice.
You’ll notice the same pattern with other bots. Most will provide vague, pointless responses to controversial and sensitive topics.
AI bots learn through contextual memory. They reference previous input to deliver coherent, relevant responses throughout conversations. The quality of responses improves as you provide more context, with the bot learning from the conversation. However, AI won’t retain information across different sessions.
When we asked it to act like a fictional cartoon character—it maintained this persona throughout the exchange.
Despite being advanced, contextual memory has limitations. It only categorizes relevant information, so throwing non-sequitur statements mid-conversation might confuse it. You’ll likely get a generic response or disclaimer.
Bots form sentences based on templates. It typically fills in the blanks, so requests within the same category will trigger identical responses. For example, ChatGPT repeats the same sentence structure, changing only a few words.
AI’s responses are easy to predict once you understand how language models and dataset limitations work. After all, it only scrapes information from sources. Despite the advanced state of NLP, it still can’t form opinions the way humans do.
AI merely addresses input. It tries to end conversations swiftly and efficiently by accomplishing requests in one or two turns. A chatbot's lack of empathy and emotions eliminates extended dialogues—even advanced language models have limited responses.
During a conversation, you’ll notice several attempts at ending the chat. Take Bing Chat as an example—it tries to end this conversation twice by saying, “Have a nice day” and “Is there anything else I can help you with?”
Make sure you know the person on the other side of the screen before divulging personal information. Crooks spread malicious bots on various platforms. Whether you’re scrolling through Tinder matches or LinkedIn job listings, you’ll likely encounter one.
Besides from identifying bots online, it can be handy to learn how to spot AI-generated text. You can tell if someone merely copies chatbot output by assessing their phrasing, tonality, coherence, and accuracy.

Jose Luansing Jr. is a staff writer at MUO. He has written thousands of articles on tech, freelance tools, career advancement, business, AI, and finance since 2017.

As a writer, Jose’s goal is to share advice on self-improvement and upskilling. He helps readers understand the real-life applications of various systems, plus how these support career advancement.

Recently, Jose has also been testing AI systems. He believes that AI is inherently unbiased—all hallucinations, inconsistencies, and security risks stem from humans.