A British artificial intelligence expert has won the Loebner Prize, held each year to determine which computer chat program is capable of responses most like that of a human being.
Rollo Carpenter and his 'George' program came top out of four entrants, knocking three times winner 'Alice' into fourth place. The award represented the first time that the prize has been won by a British entrant.
Although none of the programs convinced the judges that they were 'human', Carpenter's was seen as the most convincing and gained him the Bronze medal and $3,000.
'George' is a part of an earlier program known as Jabberwacky, which has been entered into the competition in previous years.
The program has learned its conversation skills from over 2.5 million interactions with human visitors to the Jabberwacky website.
'George' is capable of forming opinions about its interlocutors. At one point during a 'conversation' with one of the judges, it accused the judge of not being human and discussed his lack of hobbies.
The competition is based on the Turing Test, which suggests that computers could be seen as 'intelligent' if their conversation was indistinguishable from humans'.
The Gold medal and Grand Prize of $100,000 remain up for grabs.
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