Chatterbox George, the robot who's fooling everyone

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A ROBOT chat machine so life-like many people are fooled into thinking it's human has become the latest internet sensation.

The world's most sophisticated "chatbot" - invented by British scientists - can talk on the internet with hundreds of different people at the same time, but each person has the impression that it is only talking to them.

Nicknamed George, it is programmed to show emotions, tell jokes, answer questions and engage in intimate conversation on subjects as varied as love, life and the universe. It can speak 40 languages as its vocabulary continues to improve.

George's inventor, Rollo Carpenter, who will put his creation on show at the British Association Festival of Science this week, said: "He talks in a way that is as close to human as you can get without actually being human.

"A lot of people really do think they are talking to another person."

George, who started chatting online in 1997, has had text conversations with nearly two million people across the globe.