My chatbot, Suzette, won this year’s Loebner Prize contest and even confused a judge into voting for her over a human (or should I say he confused himself). But here is the blow-by-blow of this weird event.
When I arrived at the contest, I figured I had good odds to win if nothing went horribly wrong. Yes, Suzette had easily qualified over the 3 other competitors (her score 11 pts, the nearest competitor 7.5). Her design and data naturally gave her an edge over her competitors on the human knowledge test questions of the qualifiers. But human judge chat was an entirely different matter than the qualification test. Still, I felt she could carry on a detailed conversation better than the others and should win.
Initial installation of the programs occurred on Friday. From prechat conversations with the other contestants I learned that A.L.I.C.E. came with 3 redundant disks. Yet all three turned out to be blank! What a scare that must have been. Dr Wallace managed to install by retrieving the program over the Internet. Cleverbot is now at 45 million lines of memorized user chat (at a rate of doubling every year). And UltraHal is now listening to tweets, so has 300K of user chat it learned and 400K of tweets it has accepted for learning (code decides if the user has had enough responses and doesn’t trigger any red flags).