Conversation Simulation and Sensible Surprises
I have entered the Loebner Prize five times, winning the “most humanlike program” category in 1996 with a surly ELIZA-clone named HeX, but failed to repeat the performance in subsequent years with more sophisticated techniques. Whether this is indicative of an unanticipated improvement in “conversation simulation” technology, or whether it highlights the strengths of ELIZA-style trickery, is left as an exercise for the reader. In 2000, I was invited to assume the role of Chief Scientist at Artificial Intelligence Ltd. (Ai) on a project inspired by the advice given by Alan Turing in the final section of his classic paper – our quest was to build a “child machine” that could learn and use language from scratch. In this chapter, I will discuss both of these experiences, presenting my thoughts regarding the Chinese Room argument and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in between.
KeywordsLoebner Prize Turing Test Markov Model information theory Chinese Room child machine machine learning Artificial Intelligence
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