2011 Loebner prize contest day
Contest organiser Dr Ed Keedwell, Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Mark Overton and Dr Hugh Loebner spoke at the beginning of the day. Dr Keedwell welcomed spectators, confederates and judges alike and Prof. Overton formally welcomed the audience and described the University of Exeter's continuing success in research and the links between AI research at Exeter to the contest. Dr Loebner explained the rules of the contest to participants and spectators.
The main contest was run in rooms 101-103 in the Harrison Building. One conversation was projected onto a screen in the confederates room and two 40" LCD screens in the Judges room also relayed what was happening to the audience seated behind.
Junior Loebner Prize
Following the main contest, the Junior Loebner Prize took place with four junior judges from Torquay Boys Grammar School. The junior judges were only permitted 10 minutes with each AI, but still managed to correctly identify the machine each time, so well done to them.
After lunch, Dr Loebner and judges Prof. Noel Sharkey and Dr Antony Galton presented their thoughts on their research, experience of the Loebner Prize and thoughts on the Turing Test as a whole.
The day concluded with a panel discussion including Jonny O'Callaghan, Dr Galton, Prof. Sharkey, Dr Loebner and Dr Keedwell. Questions were posed by the audience and vibrant discussions were had as to the suitability of the Turing Test as a test of intelligence, the question of whether biological systems could be considered artificial in the AI sense, and the question of whether systems that perform brute-force search can be considered to be truly understanding the problem they are solving. The judges were then presented with a small gift and the day was concluded.
Click on the thumbnails to view the larger image, or hover over the large image and use the scroll on your mouse to browse though. For larger images see the full screen version
The Loebner Prize always receives media interest from around the world, this year was no different. We had reporters and film crews at the event as well as Paul Marks, senior technology correspondent from New Scientist and Noel Sharkey, Professor of artificial intelligence and robots (University of Sheffield) who writes for the Guardian they took part as a confederate and a judge respectively.
- Professor Noel Sharkey wrote an article in the Guardian entitled "Would artificial intelligence outsmart me? I needn't have worried"
- Paul Marks wrote in New Scientist "Chatbots fail to convince judges that they're human"
- Bruce Wilcox winner from this year's competition took part in an interview for the AiDreams website
- Forums including AI Nexus and Chatbots.org have been discussing the competition and future developments
- iProgrammer website have also reported on the day, displaying the winning transcript from Rosette.
Further media items will follow as well as independent filmmaker Miranda Yousef's film about the day.