The Loebner Prize and Turing Test

In a brilliant, early article on whether machines can “think,” Alan Turing, the genius behind a lot of early computer science, suggested that if a machine cannot be distinguished from a human during text-based conversation, that machine could be said to be thinking and have intelligence.

Every year, the Loebner Prize holds this type of Turing comptition. Judges, such as those below, interact with computer programs (and real people posing as computer programs). If a

judges

computer program fools enough people, the program is elible for various prizes.

The 2013 prize was won by Mitsuki Chatbox advertised as an artificial lifeform living on the web.

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She certainly is fun, and is an avatar of a whole range of chatbots which are increasingly employed in customer service and other business applications.

Mitsuku’s botmaster, Steve Worswick, ran a music website with a chatbot. Apparently, more people visited to chat than for music so he concentrated his efforts on the bot, which he still regards as a hobby. Mitsuku uses AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) used by members of pandorabot.

Mitsuki is very cute, which perhaps one reason why she gets worldwide attention.

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It would be fun to develop a forecastbot, capable of answering basic questions about which forecasting method might be appropriate. We’ve all seen those flowcharts and tabular arrays with data characteristics and forecast objectives on one side, and recommended methods on the other.

 

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