Talking birds are birds that can mimic the spoken language of humans. There is debate within the scientific community over whether some talking parrots also have some cognitive understanding of the language. Birds have varying degrees of talking ability: some, like the corvids, are able to mimic only a few words and phrases, while some budgerigars have been observed to have a vocabulary of almost 2,000 words. The hill myna, a common pet, is well known for its talking ability and its relative, the European starling, is also adept at mimicry. Wild cockatoos in Australia have been reported to have learned human speech by cultural transmission from ex-captive birds that have integrated into the flock.
Some chatbots are smarter than others, and learn in different ways; however, most chatbots only “learn” by being hard coded by a person. So in this way, parrots may be smarter than chatbots. Cleverbot does mimic people, or recycle human replies, and therefore is more parrot-like. Overall though, the comparison between chatbots and parrots is an apt one. I think it’s fair to say that chatbots of today, as well as parrots, don’t understand what they’re saying in the way that people do. However, human language is extremely imprecise, which means that the definition of “understanding” could be argued ad infinitum.