Yesterday saw Reading University here in the UK playing host to the annual Loebner Artificial Intelligence Prize event – a contest based around Alan Turing’s famous benchmark for artificial intelligence that can really think, namely whether or not it can successfully imitate human communications.
The bronze medal (for fooling a quarter of the judges) went to Elbot, a chat-bot program created by Fred Roberts, but Roberts himself seems to be not so impressed by Turing’s theory:
“I don’t think it’s anything like thought,” he said of Elbot’s conversational prowess. “If you know a magic trick, you know how it’s done, it’s not magic anymore. Sorry to be so pessimistic.”
With the caveat that I have no expertise in cognition or expert systems, I’m inclined to agree with him. [via The Guardian]