I’ve now heard back from all 13 living past Loebner prize winners, and all of us have signed the letter to the AISB.
That made our sentiment unanimous among past Loebner prize winners, with the exception of the elusive Joseph Weintraub, who won the contest 4 out of the first 5 times the contest was held.
Several years ago when I was organizing the Chatbots 3.x conference, I tried to contact Weintraub and invite him as a speaker. I reached a woman at his phone number who said he was not well enough to come to the phone. Later I thought heard (maybe from Hugh) that Weintraub had passed away, but I wasn’t sure.
I found a mailing address for him and sent him a letter along with a copy of our letter to the AISB. Yesterday I received a reply from his daughter Anna, who confirmed that he had passed away. She did however ask that we include her signature on his behalf.
So now we have 14 signatures representing all 14 past Loebner prize winners, expressing our unanimous desire that the contest continue in 2017 and beyond.
Long live the Loebner Prize Contest!