2012 Loebner Prize Artificial Intelligence
The Loebner Prize Competition was held Tues, 15 May 2012 at Bletchley Park, UK as part of the Turing 100 Celebration.
As part of the 2012 celebrations for the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing , Bletchley Park hosted the annual Loebner Prize competition to find the world’s best conversational computer program. The chatbot programs were competing for a bronze medal and a prize fund of $7,000 sponsored by Dr Hugh Loebner who founded the competitionin 1991.
The Loebner Prize competition is based on the Turing Test, one of the biggest challenges in the world of Artificial Intelligence. The test was proposed by Alan Turing in his famous 1950 paper entitled Computing Machinery and Intelligence, as a way of determining whether a computer program could be said to be intelligent. The judges at the competition conducted conversations with the four finalist chatbots and with some human surrogates, and then ranked all their conversation partners from most humanlike to least humanlike. The chatbot with the highest overall ranking, entered by Mohan Embar, won the prize.
Alan Turing, who was born on June 23rd 1912, was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He is widely regarded as the father of computer science, and had a huge impact on the birth of artificial intelligence, partly by virtue of a section entitled “Can Machines Think?” in his 1950 paper.
During World War II Turing led Britain’s code-breaking efforts, heading a team of 3,000 workers based at Bletchley Park. Sir Winston Churchill, amongst others, paid tribute to Turing’s team, whose successes in breaking the German Enigma code undoubtedly shortened the war and helped the allies to victory. Amongst those who worked in the upper echelons of Turing’s code-breaking team were half of the British national team from the 1939 Chess Olympiad: Hugh Alexander, Harry Golombek and Stuart (later Sir Stuart) Milner-Barry, as well as some future luminaries of the AI world including professors Donald Michie and Jack Good. The work of Turing’s team and a depiction of life at Bletchley Park during the war years can be seen in the 2001 fictionalized movie Enigma, starring Kate Winslet.
The Turing Centenary Loebner Prize competition took place on May 15th 2012 at the Bletchley Park Museum, starting at 1:00pm. The organization of the 2012 Loebner Prize competition was team effort. The OU’s IT Desktop Support Group whose HQ is in the nearby town of Milton Keynes, loaned the computers needed for the event. The communications company IPCortex Ltd whose offices are located within Bletchley Park, provided the networking facilities. Exeter University’s Computer Science Department , the hosts of the 2011 competition, developed software to webcast the competition live, so for the first time in its history the Loebner Prize conversations could be followed in real time via the Internet. The principal web site host for the event was www.chatbots.org And of course the Bletchley Park Museum itself provided the venue and on-site support. Those who visit the event on May 15th were also be able to take a guided tour of the museum, which offers a fascinating glimpse of life and work at Bletchley Park during the war years.
Local arrangements were organized by Dr. David Levy davidlevylondon [at] yahoo.com, winner of the Loebner Prize in 1997 and 2009.