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June 8, 2014

Turing test beaten by Russian chatterbot

Turing test beaten by Russian chatterbot

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

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Yesterday, the Russian chatterbotEugene Goostman” by a team of Russian and Ukrainian developers became the first machine to pass a Turing test, under the academic event organizers’ interpretation of the test as originally described by British mathematician Alan Turing. The competition was held at the Royal Society in London, England, and was organized by Kevin Warwick and Huma Shah of the University of Reading to mark the 60th anniversary of Turing’s death on June 7, 1954.

The Turing test is a test of artificial intelligence aiming to fulfil the suggestion of Alan Turing in his 1950 paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence“, which stated that within fifty years, an “average interrogator” would, following a five-minute long conversation, “not have more than 70 per cent chance” of correctly predicting whether they are speaking to a human, or a machine — which would be able to, as such, fool at least 30% of human judges into thinking it is human.

Statue of Alan Turing at Bletchley Park.
Image: Antoine Taveneaux.

In the contest, where Eugene Goostman and four other bots competed, the bot successfully tricked 33% of the participating judges, which included television actor Robert Llewellyn of the BBC television series Red Dwarf, and John Sharkey, Baron Sharkey, a sponsor of Turing’s 2013 posthumous pardon. To give the bot a “believable personality”, Goostman is portrayed as being a thirteen year-old boy of the Ukraine; the bot’s head developer Vladimir Veselov stated that this made Goostman “not too old to know everything and not too young to know nothing”.

The bot had previously come close to beating the Turing test on several occasions; it has been a three-time runner-up for the Loebner Prize, and it won a Turing contest at Bletchley Park in 2012, held to mark the 100th anniversary of Turing’s birth. In the 2012 Bletchley Park competition Goostman was, notably, only one percent away from the target of 30%.

Speaking about the achievement, Warwick stated: “Some will claim that the Test has already been passed. The words Turing Test have been applied to similar competitions around the world. However this event involved the most simultaneous comparison tests than ever before, was independently verified and, crucially, the conversations were unrestricted. A true Turing Test does not set the questions or topics prior to the conversations. We are therefore proud to declare that Alan Turing’s Test was passed for the first time on Saturday.”

Veselov felt that the achievement was “remarkable”, and suggested that it could help increase interest in artificial intelligence and chatterbot technology.


Related news

  • “Alan Turing given posthumous pardon” — Wikinews, December 25, 2013

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

July 31, 2007

Alan Turing Building opens at University of Manchester

Alan Turing Building opens at University of Manchester

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The atrium of the Alan Turing building
Image: Bill Lionheart.

The School of Mathematics, University of Manchester finished moving in to its new building Monday. The building is named after one of its most widely known academics, Alan Turing, one of the founders of computer science and a Reader in Mathematics at Manchester.

Although Turing is one of the city and university’s most famous sons, there are very few things named in his honour. The city council was criticised for naming an uninspiring piece of by-pass Alan Turing Way, and a statue erected by public subscription bears a plaque pointing out the failure of the computing industry to contribute.

The new building deliberately attempts to provide a conducive atmosphere for mathematical collaboration with a design that aims to promote chance encounter in public spaces. It also aims to save energy with solar panels fitted to the roof.

The building also houses the Astronomy and Astrophysics Group, and the Photon Sciences Institute.


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November 30, 2005

Computer professionals celebrate 10th birthday of A.L.I.C.E.

Computer professionals celebrate 10th birthday of A.L.I.C.E.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

File:Turing1.jpg

Some attendees pose by the statue of Alan Turing at the University of Surrey in Guildford, UK.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

More than 50 programmers, scientists, students, hobbyists and fans of the A.L.I.C.E. chat robot gathered in Guildford, U.K. on Friday to celebrate the tenth birthday of the award winning A.I. On hand was the founder the Loebner Prize, an annual Turing Test, designed to pick out the world’s most human computer according to an experiment laid out by the famous British mathematician Alan Turing more then 50 years ago. Along with A.L.I.C.E.’s chief programmer Dr. Richard S. Wallace, two other Loebner prize winners, Robby Garner and this year’s winner, Rollo Carpenter, also gave presentations, as did other finalists.

The University of Surrey venue was chosen, according to Dr. Wallace, not only because it was outside the U.S. (A.L.I.C.E.’s birthday fell on the Thanksgiving Day weekend holiday there, so he expected few people would attend a conference in America), but also because of its recently erected statue of Alan Turing, who posed the famous A. I. experiment which inspired much of the work on bots like A.L.I.C.E. University of Surrey Digital World Research Centre organizers Lynn and David Hamill were pleased to host the event because it encourages multi-disciplinary interaction, and because of the Centre’s interest in interaction between humans and computers.

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(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Dr. Wallace gave a keynote address outlining the history of A.L.I.C.E. and AIML. Many people commented on the fact the he seemed to have moved around a lot in the last ten years, having lived in New York, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Maine, Amsterdam and Philadelphia, while working on the Alicebot project. The A.L.I.C.E. and AIML software is popular among chat robot enthusiats primarily because of its distribution under the GNU free software license. One of Dr. Wallace’s PowerPoint slides asked the question, “How do you make money from free software?” His answer: memberships, subscriptions, books, directories, syndicated ads, consulting, teaching, and something called the Superbot.

Rollo Carpenter gave a fascinating presentation on his learning bot Jabberwacky, reading from several sample conversations wherein the bot seemed amazingly humanlike. Unlike the free A.L.I.C.E. software, Carpenter uses a proprietary learning approach so that the bot actually mimics the personality of each individual chatter. The more people who chat with Jabberwacky, the better it becomes at this kind of mimicry.

In another interesting presentation, Dr. Hamill related present-day research on chat robots to earlier work on dialog analysis in telephone conversations. Phone calls have many similarities to the one-on-one chats that bots encounter on the web and in IM. Dr. Hamill also related our social expectations of bots to social class structure and how servants were expected to behave in Victorian England. He cited the famous Microsoft paperclip as the most egregius example of a bot that violated all the rules of a good servant’s behavior.

Bots have advanced a long way since philanthropist Hugh Loebner launched his controversial contest 15 years ago. His Turing Test contest, which offers an award of $100,000 for the first program to pass an “audio-visual” version of the game, also awards a bronze medal and $2000 every year for the “most human computer” according to a panel of judges. Huma Shah of the University of Westminster presented examples of bots used by large corporations to help sell furniture, provide the latest information about automotive products, and help customers open bank accounts. Several companies in the U.S. and Europe offer customized bot personalities for corporate web sites.

Even though Turing’s Test remains controversial, this group of enthusiastic developers seems determined to carry on the tradition and try to develop more and more human like chat bots. Hugh Loebner is dedicated to carry on his contest for the rest of his life, in spite of his critics. He hopes that a large enough constituency of winners will exist to keep the competition going well beyond his own lifetime. Dr. Wallace says, “Nobody has gotten rich from chat robots yet, but that doesn’t stop people from trying. There is such a thing as ‘bot fever’. For some people who meet a bot for the first time, it can pass the Turing Test for them, and they get very excited.”


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April 19, 2005

Simon\’s Rock College tests Alan Turing theories with \’Imitation Game\’ experiment

Simon’s Rock College tests Alan Turing theories with ‘Imitation Game’ experiment

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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

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“Confederates chat with judges via AIM”
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

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“Experiment organizers supervise as confederates chat on AIM”
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On Saturday April 16, students at Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and Dr. Richard Wallace of the A.L.I.C.E. AI Foundation for their first time tested Alan Turing‘s thought-experiment. The Imitation Game, based on the original Turing model for testing the ability of humans to recognize artificial intelligence (AI), was carried out with nearly eighty human and AI participants.

The ‘Original Imitation Game’ is described in Turing’s 1950 paper. A popularized version now dubbed the “Turing Test” involves a judge knowingly interviewing a software program and a human person during a computer chat, and then trying to discern which is which. The Turing Test has been conducted many times as Artificial Intelligence programs developed. However, no study was ever published following the guidelines of the original thought-experiment itself.

The Imitation Game involved playing a “gender guessing game”, wherein two human subjects, a male and a female, communicate via computer chat to the judge. Both the male and the female would try to convince the judge that s/he is female. Turing’s original question was, if a gender guessing game were done with two humans, and then with an AI replacing the male, would the judge be more accurate in guessing who the real female was?

Three students at Simon’s Rock — Cameo Wood, Melissa Leventhal, and Allyson Sgro — wrote a grant to support the experiment, and shepherded the proposal through the Human Research Review Committee under the oversight of Professor Anne O’Dwyer. The experiment was funded by the departments of Natural Science and the department of Social Science at the college.

The experiment utilized a program called A.L.I.C.E., which is designed to hold one end of an interactive conversation. The program was provided by the ALICE Artificial Intelligence Foundation. Dr. Richard Wallace was on hand during the experiment to troubleshoot the AI robot, later gave a lecture about on The Anatomy of A.L.I.C.E. and blogged the event.

Six human subjects from Simon’s Rock composed the human players in the game; the judges were recruited from various non-technical internet communities. Roughly eighty individuals participated in the experiment, which required the organizers to maintain strict secrecy about the experiment until it was concluded. All subjects who participated in the experiment were required to be over 18, not affiliated with the college, and were not allowed any foreknowledge of the use of AI in the experiment. Roughly 70 interviews were conducted over a three hour period last Saturday, via AOL’s Instant Messenger, a messaging tool that allows individuals to write to one another online.

The research team at Simon’s Rock has started to analyze the data they acquired during the experiment and will be writing a paper for publication in the coming months. Inquiries regarding the experiment may be directed to researcher@theguessinggame.net.


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