News Release| Loebner Prize competition; Cal State L.A.


Cal State L.A. hosts artificial intelligence competition to find

‘world’s best’ conversational computer program


20th Annual Loebner Prize to showcase

futuristic technology during Boeing Day 2010


toward the “optimistic” goal of one day not being able to determine the
difference between human and computer-generated conversation, the 20th
Annual Loebner Prize finals at Cal State L.A. (CSULA) on Oct. 23 at
10 a.m.
will highlight linguistic advances in artificial

competition will be held during

Boeing Day 2010
which takes place in CSULA’s Engineering and Technology

The Loebner Prize “chatbot” competition will take place in the
Computer Productivity Center
(rooms C255D, C255E, C255G, and C256).

“During the
contest, judges will interact via computer with both the chatbots and
human respondents in a series of 25-minute sessions. These interactions
will be projected on a screen visible to the audience. Interrogator
rankings of the chatbots from most to least human-like will determine
the prizes,” said Russ Abbott, a computer science professor at CSULA.

20 years ago by Dr. Hugh Loebner—who will present the prizes to the
winners—the Loebner Prize provides a cash incentive for artificial
intelligence researchers and a way of measuring progress in this field.

As they
help further the eventual development of the world’s best conversational
computer program, the designers of the final-four (out of 17) “chatbot”
programs will compete for a bronze medal and four cash prizes: $3,000 to
the first-place finisher, $1,000 to second, $750 goes to third, and $250
to fourth.

The four
finalists are: Richard Wallace, Oakland, CA; Robert Medeksza of Erie,
PA; Bruce Wilcox, San Rafael, CA, and Rollo Carpenter, Exeter, United

An 18-carat

gold medal

and $100,000 will be awarded to the designer of the first chatbot whose
responses are indistinguishable from a human’s. Although the gold medal
will not be at risk during this year’s contest, any chatbots that
unexpectedly fools two or more judges at the event will split $25,000
and a silver medal.

competition is based on the Turing Test, a world-renowned challenge in
the field of artificial intelligence. The test was proposed by World War
II British code breaker and computer pioneer Alan Turing in a 1950 paper
entitled Computing Machinery and Intelligence, as a way of
determining whether a computer program could be considered intelligent.

predicted , “In about 50 years’ time it will be possible to programme
computers ... to make them play the imitation game so well that an
average interrogator will not have more than a 70 percent chance of
making the right identification [human or computer] after five minutes
of questioning.”

prediction has turned out to be overly optimistic,” said Abbott. “But
the stimulus of the Loebner Prize has helped encourage progress. It’s
only a matter of time before a program succeeds in passing the Turing
Test and winning its designer the Loebner Prize.”

Boeing Day 2010

Boeing Day
will provide a glimpse at the different
degree programs offered through
CSULA’s College of Engineering,
Computer Science, and Technology.
Participants will learn about state-o
f-the-art engineering and
computer science and take tours of the College’s technology facilities
and labs. The event will also feature award-winning student design
projects and will be attended by University faculty, staff, students and
alumni as well as industry leaders.

Boeing Day
is hosted in conjunction with MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science
Achievement) Orientation
Day and the ECST’s Open House. For the past three years, the Boeing
Corporation has provided more than $27,000 of support in the form of
staff, monetary resources, and technological demonstration for the

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