Ask Marcella our resident fortune teller any question that you want, and she will give you an answer.
I can't speak for other fortune tellers, but this particular one isn't real.
Just in case you didn't guess, Marcella is made up of ones and zeros. She is a computer program, so don't take her pronouncements too seriously as they are completely random.
As to whether or not fortune telling is real this isn't the place to answer the question.
For what it is worth, and while I have an open mind about aspects of clairvoyance, I don't believe anyone can predict the future.
But if you want to know how this fake fortune teller works, then you are in the right place.
Marcella is a computer program. More specifically, she is a limited type of chatbot, which means that she analyses input (the text that you type in), performs some calculations and produces output (your fortune).
The fortune telling programs looks for answers in order of preference.
Firstly, if you have written only a single word, the program looks for a match to this word. One word isn't really enough to produce much of an answer, or pretend to tell a fortune so the output is probably a response encouraging you to write something else.
There is an element of randomness, so you won't always receive the same answer, but nothing too sophisticated.
Secondly, the program looks for exact matches to the question asked, so it can return a pre-programmed fortune.
Assuming that you have asked a longer question, the program searches a database for the exact match to the question asked, and returns the corresponding answer.
So if I ask the question 'will I win the lottery tomorrow', the program searches within the database, finds the appropriate answer and displays it.
Thirdly, it searches for partial matches in a database, and displays an appropriate fortune.
A partial match is something like:
"will I get ..." or "will I have ...".
Again, you are given a random answer to your question, but maybe starting:
"The spirits tell me that you will get ..." or "My guides tell me that you will have ...".
Finally, and most often, the fortune teller chooses and displays a suitable random answer from answers such as:-
No, but remember the future is uncertain. or Most likely, but the way is never fixed..
There is one final possibility, which is if you ask your question in a form like:
Does John like me? or is John going to call me? (insert a random name for John).
The online fortune teller will recognise this and substitute the name into one of various set answers.
You won't always obtain identical results, as there is an element of chance in the answers, and the program is continually being tweaked.
The moonface blog explores the areas where:
Prophecy and programming collide ...