Home Page of The Loebner Prize in Artificial Intelligence
"The First Turing Test"
What is the Loebner Prize?
The Loebner Prize for artificial intelligence ( AI ) is the first formal instantiation of a Turing Test. The test is named after Alan Turing the brilliant British mathematician. Among his many accomplishments was basic research in computing science. In 1950, in the article Computing Machinery and Intelligence which appeared in the philosophy journal Mind, Alan Turing asked the question "Can a Machine Think?" He answered in the affirmative, but a central question was: "If a computer could think, how could we tell?" Turing's suggestion was, that if the responses from the computer were indistinguishable from that of a human,the computer could be said to be thinking. This field is generally known as natural language processing.
In 1990 Hugh Loebner agreed with The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies to underwrite a contest designed to implement the Turing Test. Dr. Loebner pledged a Grand Prize of $100,000 and a Gold Medal (pictured above) for the first computer whose responses were indistinguishable from a human's. Such a computer can be said "to think." Each year an annual cash prize and a bronze medal is awarded to the most human-like computer. The winner of the annual contest is the best entry relative to other entries that year, irrespective of how good it is in an absolute sense.
Further information on the development of the Loebner Prize and the reasons for its existence is available in Loebner's article In Response to the article Lessons from a Restricted Turing Test by Stuart Shieber.
The Loebner Prize was originally made possible by funding from Crown Industries, Inc., of East Orange NJ.
For a comprehensive overview of chatbots in general, check chatbots.org
The Imagineering Quarter is hosting the international Loebner Prize 2013 Contest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to find the world's best conversational chatbot computer program in collaboration with Universities in the USA (New Mexico), Denmark (Aalborg), France (LIMSI-CNRS), England (Exeter, Sheffield) & Ireland (The Queen's University of Belfast, UCD, DCU) and technically co-sponsored by the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society UKRI chapter.
Each year an Annual Prize & Bronze Medal is awarded to the most human-like computer.
The Silver Medal Prize of $25,000 + Silver Medal will be awarded if any program fools two or more judges when compared to two or more humans. At that point the contest will progress to the MultiModal stage in which entries in subsequent years will necessitate processing of MultiModal input (e.g. music, speech, pictures, videos). During the MultiModal stage, if any entry fools half the judges compared to half of the humans, the program's creator(s) will receive the Grand Prize of $100,000 + 18kt Gold Medal, and the competition will be discontinued.
All prizes are sponsored by New York Philanthropist, Dr. Hugh Loebner.
A Call for Entries has been announced (see below) and the 4 entries with the highest scores will be selected as finalists.
Note to entrants: Judges will interact with your program via the Judge Program, which is a Perl program running under ActiveState Perl 5.16. In order to run this program:
Your program will interact with the Judge Program using the Loebner Prize Protocol "LPP" via the sub folder with your program's name which is nested within the Communications folder. The other three folders are used during the competition, but are not necessary for testing.
Loebner Prize 2013, in collaboration with Foyle Learning Community and TeenTech CIC, will also include a separate prize known as the Junior Loebner Prize in which the judging panel will consist of school pupils between 12 and 14 years old. This prize first arose after a paper (see below) and discussion at AISB 2010 where Loebner 2011 (Exeter) contest organiser, Dr. Ed Keedwell, proposed a Turing Test based on child development. An additional prize fund is available for the machines in this Junior Loebner Prize Contest.
The University of Exeter's Computer Science Department (Dr. Ed Keedwell, Kent McClymont) will run a live webcast of Loebner Prize 2013 and interested people from around the world will be able to follow the conversations the judges have as they happen.
Loebner Prize 2013 is directed by Prof. Paul Mc Kevitt of The University of Ulster and produced by Dr. Hugh Loebner, together with Production and Location (drawn from The Imagineering Quarter) Crews and casting of Contest Entrants and an International Judging Panel. A cameo appearance by a BBC Media Celebrity who is an expert on natural language is anticipated.
Loebner Prize 2013 will be filmed by WGBH (Boston, USA) & 360 Production (Derry/London) as part of a documentary on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the Nova Primetime Science TV Series produced by Chad Cohen for screening on the USA Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Television Network.
The Loebner Prize is the first formal instantiation of `The Turing Test'. The test is named after Alan Turing, the brilliant British mathematician who also developed basic research on the theoretical foundation of computing science.
The Loebner Prize contest, first inaugurated in 1991 at The Computer Museum (Boston, USA), has been hosted internationally at locations such as: Carnegie Hall (NY, USA), The Science Museum (London), The Powerhouse Museum (Sydney, Australia), Bletchley Park (England), Dartmouth College (NH, USA), California State University (LA, USA), University College London, Surrey, Reading & Exeter Universities (England), Flinders University (Adelaide, Australia) and even Hugh Loebner's appartment in New York City (USA).
Winners of Previous Contests
1991 Joseph Weintraub , Thinking Systems Software
1992 Joseph Weintraub, Thinking Systems Software
1993 Joseph Weintraub, Thinking Systems Software
1994 Thomas Whalen
1995 Joseph Weintraub, Thinking Systems Software
1996 Jason Hutchens, Agworld Pty Ltd
1997 David Levy, Intelligent Research Ltd.
1998 Robby Garner
1999 Robby Garner
2001 Richard Wallace
2002 Kevin Copple
2003 Juergen Pirner
2004 Richard Wallace
2005 Rollo Carpenter
2006 Rollo Carpenter
2007 Robert Medeksza
2009 David Levy
2010 Bruce Wilcox
2011 Bruce Wilcox
2012 Mohan Embar
2013 Stephen Worswick
1992 Contest Information and transcripts
Thom Whalen's Account of winning the 1994 contest
2000 Contest Information and transcripts are currently unavailable
(An amusing thread on the comp.ai news groups)
1 April 2013