Tuesday, 07 Oct, 2008 Technology

Computers to be Tested on Intelligence


Six computers are going to compete in an experiment that aims to find out if a computer has a potential to think like human.

The experiment, where computers will communicate with human volunteers, is planned to take place on September 13 at the University of Reading. The six computer programs are called Alice, Brother Jerome, Elbot, Eugene Goostman, Jabberwacky and Ultra Hal.

Human interrogators will put the machines to the Turing test, developed to find a computer's ability to demonstrate intelligence. Each of the volunteers will start conversation with one unseen human and one computer program on any subject. After that the volunteers will be asked to tell which is which. The computer is considered to pass the test if the interrogator is unsure or guessed wrong.

The Turning test was developed by a mathematician Alan Turning in 1950 and was described in the article "Computing machinery and intelligence". The renowned scientist studied if it is possible for machines to think. Until now no computer has passed the test, while Turning expected that thinking machines will appear by the year 2000.

The designer of the computer that will succeed in an experiment will be awarded with 18-carat gold medal and $100,000 offered by the Loebner Prize in Artificial Intelligence. The Loebner Prize is organized annually to determine which of the computer systems will demonstrate the most human conversational behavior.

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