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International Chatbot Contest
  [ # 91 ]

Im going to suggest a solution, but first I want to say that I wasnt expecting RICH to be entered in the runoff rounds, and this wasnt a request by myself or anyone at R.I. Software Developers LLC or its spinoffs. To be honest we (at the company) were still debating whether or not to pull RICH after recieving the letter from Mr Giordano regarding including him when the runoffs were held as we did not want to cause a controversy with the other contestants who had been cut. I had already been in contact with other contestants regarding this when the runoff transcripts were posted, communicating that I would pull RICH if he made it. The fact that we didnt make the cut solved the dilemma. I will say that I am glad that the transcripts that were posted reflect a slightly better public record than the first round transcripts.
Heres my proposed solution. Certainly I understand Wendells desire to protect his source code, although I have to say that I believe that this probably impossible once his work is made public. Its simply one of the problems with client side scripting. Even Javascript obfuscation techniques are not 100% effective. I also understand Steves desire to communicate with a winning entry, which was I believe a condition of the contest rules. “Bots must be available for people to talk with” In a limited sense however I believe I can offer a solution that will satisfy all parties concerned.
1. Steve provides an IP address to Wendell
2. Wendell locks down the directory where his contest entry resides so that only this IP address is allowed. If that is impossible, the same thing can be accomplished in code.
3. Wendell gives me a USER-AGENT string that is wholly unique
4. I can knock out a browser in a matter of minutes that will EXECUTE javascript, but has no Java console or other device that would allow source code to be viewed. I can hard code the USER-AGENT string into this browser.
5. Wendell can add code to his page that will reject any USER-AGENT but the one which Wendell has provided.
6. Wendell sets this directory to NO-CACHE7. Wendell sets this directory so that it will only allow access over SSL

No one will be able to access the bot except from this IP, and the person who accesses it will have no access to bot except by using the provided browser. the javascript. The unique USER-AGENT is obfuscated by the SSL. In this way Steve can satisfy his curiosity and that of everyone else, Wendell can protect his source code, and the matter can be put to rest. In addition Wendell is free to make this available as a download so that people can safely view his work.  If anyone sees any security holes in this please feel free to point them out, quite frankly I hadnt considered this particular problem before.

Hope this helps



  [ # 92 ]

If anybody has any creditable evidence to support Steve’s accusations please contact me. I’m not interested in gossip, rumors, or idle speculations however. I await your reply.

The contest was run as transparent as humanly possible. Compare it to the Robo Chat contest.

If no evidence is forthcoming I then ask you to consider the source. A sore losers attempt to justify why his bot was beaten. Anybody at anytime can make accusations like these. It doesn’t make it true. It’s sad that a contest’s reputation can end so quickly based on nothing more than speculation. You can all thank Steve for that.

Kevin L. Giordano


  [ # 93 ]

I can perfectly understand Wendell’s desire to protect his work. I believe his current on-line bot is better than the version of Talk-bot that competed in Chatbot Battles last year.

None of the botmasters of best bots would like to have all their responses published for the world to steal. Each botmaster is entitled to his own secret sauce. Using a private link isn’t a bad idea for Javascript based bots.

Competitions always draw some criticism. Judging, and keeping an even playing field is tough. 2 of the last 3 contests didn’t even result in transcripts. This one was timely, open and inclusive.

I don’t believe Wendell was provide the questions in advance. I guess each of us will have to make his own judgment.


  [ # 94 ]

8) Kevin’s profile page here doesn’t exist. Nobody has heard of him and he offers no information about himself or his interests in AI.

9) Why offer $5,000 to just the first place and no other prizes unless you know you don’t have to pay anything out?

10) I see the history page is up at the ICC and is pretty much identical to the old CBC history page (apart from the entrants of course)

March 16, 2012 - Bildgesmythe is named the winner of The 2012 Chatterbox Challenge. The contest featured 34 Bots
  from all over the world. The final Top 13 Bots are listed below:

March 16, 2013 - Talk-Bot by Wendell Cowart is named the winner of The 2013 International Chatbot Contest.
The contest featured 24 Bots from all over the world. The final standings are listed below:

You forgot to edit the date by the way when you copied and pasted from your old site. smile

11) Talkbot spots the the word “inherits” but fails at the more common word “buy”

12) “Kevin” only comments on his contest on the AI websites that Wendell visits (Robitron and here).  Nothing on any other website where other people had posted the contest details.

This is nothing to do with being a sore loser as I explained via email. I do not care if I come 3rd, 4th or last, as long as the contest is genuine and fair. The rules to your contest clearly state “Your bot only needs to be available so people can talk with it” and “Participants not following the rules will be disqualified from the contest”. The winning entry did not conform to those rules and so should either be disqualified or let us talk to it. If it is disqualified then let Izar win as he came 2nd. I do not care about winning. I just want to see a fair contest.

Vince offered a perfectly reasonable suggestion and I am happy to provide you with an IP. Failing that, please feel free to email me the link to the winner. I give my word that I won’t share it with anyone and certainly won’t steal your source code. I use a different system for Mitsuku and don’t plan on starting afresh.

Oh and please don’t send me emails like this one that you sent last night:

“Your nothing more than a pathetic loser. You couldn’t stand
the fact that Bildgesmythe beat you twice in the CBC so now
your trying to discredit Talk-Bot. Your contest was a joke
so now your taking cheapshots at the ICC as well.

You should rename your bot to Shitsuku”

The fact that you spelled “you’re” as “your” gave it away, as a couple of your emails where you were man enough to put your name to, also had the same grammatical error. Surely, we can sort this out quickly and amicably without resorting to personal insults?

Let’s not forget that you banned Mitsuku from your own competition even though it came top after round 1 after claiming it broke the rules about being an AIML bot. The only explanation given was that “rules are rules”. Let’s see some consisitency here please.


  [ # 95 ]

Ok, folks, that’s enough. It is not appropriate to sink to the level of name calling and making inflammatory remarks in a public forum such as this. I understand that there are questions regarding the legitimacy of this competition, and I will investigate them to the best of my abilities, but that will not happen until I return from the Chatbots conference. Right now, I’m in Maryland, and have limited resources at my disposal, so it will just have to wait. In the interim, I’m locking this thread, and will unlock it only after I’ve completed my investigation. Also, I will temporarily ban anyone creating new threads regarding this issue while I’m away, and will deal more severely with those who do so in an offensive or aggressive manner.


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