The Loebner contest has awarded its top prize to a chatbot called Mitsuku, which was judged the most convincingly human artificial intelligence (AI) program among the contestants.
The contest's four finalists participated in a series of rounds in which they chatted via text with judges. Mitsuku creator Steve Worswick began programming chatbots in an effort to engage visitors to his dance music website. In 2004, Worswick was commissioned by a games company to write Mitsuku, and he improved on the program's abilities through its many conversations with website visitors. The process helped Worswick program Mitsuku to answer questions that require not only canned responses, but also common sense and an understanding of the world--areas in which AI significantly lags humans.
"The difficulty is trying to teach these things about the world because they have no sensory input," Worswick says.
The annual contest, launched by U.S. businessman Hugh Loebner, offers a real-world test of a question posed by Alan Turing in the 1950s in which he suggested that a computer could be considered thinking if its responses to questions were indistinguishable from that of a human.
From BBC News
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