Paul McKevitt

Today in class Paul McKevitt came to speak to us, he is the director of the Loebner Prize. Which is a Contest in Artificial Intelligence to find the world’s best conversational chatbot computer program in collaboration with universities in the USA, Denmark, France, England and Ireland.

The contest was held during the Culture Tech 2013 digital media and creativity festival, City of Culture 2013 celebration, European Heritage Open Days and an International Workshop on: “Waiting for Artificial Intelligence”. Each year there is a prize given for the most human like computer. The Silver Medal Prize of US $25,000 + Silver Medal will be awarded if any program fools two or more judges when compared to two or more humans. At that point the contest will progress to the Multi Modal stage in which entries in subsequent years will necessitate processing of Multi Modal input (e.g. music, speech, pictures, videos). During the Multi Modal stage, if any entry fools half the judges compared to half of the humans, the program’s creator(s) will receive the Grand Prize of US $100,000 + 18kt solid Gold Medal, and the competition will be discontinued.

Professor Noel Sharky is one of the judges, he is a professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. Artificial intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

The Loebner Prize is produced by Dr Hugh Loebner and it is the first formal instantiation of ‘The Turing Test’. The test is named after Alan Turing, the British mathematician who also developed basic research on the theoretical foundation of computing science.

2013 Competition Results

Congratulations Mitsuku for winning the 2013 Loebner Prize.

1st Prize and the bronze medal was awarded to Mitsuku by Steve Worswick ($4,000). Average Programme Rank 1.75

2nd Prize was awarded to Tutor by Dr. Ron C. Lee ($1,000). Average Programme Rank 2.00Image

3rd Prize was awarded to Rose by Bruce Wilcox ($750). Average Programme Rank 2.75

4th Prize was awarded to Izar by Brian Rigsby ($250). Average Programme Rank 3.50

I think this is very interesting, so much time and work must go into programming these bots. From the video I watched in class of the competition I would find it extremely hard to judge, the answers seemed so human like. The creators have done a great job.

However a part of me worries about the progression of these bots, how far will this continue, what will they be doing next. Paul told us that there are people working on a missile robot at the moment that will make the decisions to shoot or not rather than the humans making the decisions for it to shoot as this was causing too big of a delay. Personally this scares me and I can’t help but wonder where this will lead us to?


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