Turing Test and the Test

[From: Bruce Nevin (Wed 931116 09:22:11 EST)]

Has the CSG-L server kicked the cosmic bit bucket?

I thought the relationships between the Turing Test and the Test might be
amusing. Judges dialogue with either a person or a program, using a CRT
interface. What they judge is whether or not the other party in the
dialogue meets their own expectations as to what are normal human

Seems to me that for a computer really to pass, after it has been judged
human, put it in the judge's seat. It would have to model successfully
how humans discriminate between human and non-human interlocutors, using
the same resources that it uses in passing for human.

In the running of this contest a few years ago, several judges concluded
that one human was a computer. The reason: her expertise, as a PhD
specializing in Elizabethan theater. They assumed that a human would not
have what seemed to them to be encyclopedic knowledge. The nether side
of hubris.

NL-KR Digest Mon Nov 14 23:35:04 PST 1994 Volume 13 No. 49
<lots deleted>



From: "Alastair G. M. Milne" <milne@ics.uci.edu>
Subject: Announcement: Thinking Computer Quest, Dec 94, San Marcos
Date: 11 Nov 94 01:21:33 GMT
To: moderator.@ics.uci.edu@cs.rpi.edu;

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

                (Human vs. Computers on December 16th)

[Please do not reply to the sender of this message]

The fourth annual Loebner Prize Competition in Artificial Intelligence
will be held at the new San Marcos campus of California State University
on Friday, December 16th, 1994. The Loebner Prize pits humans against
computers in what the Wall Street Journal described as "a groundbreaking
battle." The first three competitions drew national and international
media coverage.

     In the event, human judges converse at computer terminals and
attempt to determine which terminals are controlled by fellow humans and
which by computers. For the 1994 competition, conversation will be
restricted to certain topics. This year, as in 1993, all judges will be
members of the national press. The 1993 judges represented TIME
Magazine, Popular Science, PBS, the Voice of America, and elsewhere. The
contest has drawn media attention around the world, including coverage on
CNN television, PBS television, the New York Times (front page), the
Washington Post, the London Guardian, The Economist, the San Diego Union
Tribune (front page), Science News, and many periodicals in the computer
field, including Computerworld and AI Magazine (cover story).

     "Surprisingly, in early competitions, some of the computers fooled
some of the judges into thinking they were people," said Dr. Robert
Epstein, Research Professor at National University, Director Emeritus of
the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, and the organizer and
director of the three previous contests.

     The author of the winning software of this year's event will receive
$2,000 and a bronze medal. In 1995, Epstein said, the first open-ended
contest -- one with no topic restrictions -- will be conducted. When a
computer can pass an unrestricted test, the grand prize of $100,000 will
be awarded, and the contest will be discontinued.

     The competition is named after benefactor Dr. Hugh G. Loebner of New
York City and was inspired by computer pioneer Alan Turing, who in 1950
proposed a test like the Loebner contest as a way to answer the question:
Can computers think?

     A partial list of sponsors of previous competitions includes: Apple
Computers, Computerland, Crown Industries, GDE Systems, IBM Personal
Computer Company's Center for Natural Computing, Greenwich Capital
Markets, Motorola, the National Science Foundation, The Alfred P. Sloan
Foundation, and The Weingart Foundation.

   * All Computer Science professionals interested
          in observing the event are invited to attend.
       Please send your inquiries or RSVP
          to jane_lynch@csusm.edu University Development Office
             (619) 752-4406
          before Dec 9th. ****

Official rules may be obtained via email by sending a message to
with the words "send filename" in the subject of the message.
The files that can be requested are:

        info-letter (a short introduction)
        order-form (an order form for transcripts and diskettes)
        press-release (this document)
        official-rules (official rules and application)
        technical-notes (technical notes for the contest)
        all (all of the above documents)

Those without access to electronic mail can contact Dr. Robert Epstein,
Contest Director, 933 Woodlake Drive, Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007-1024
Tel: 619-436-4400, Fax: 619-436-4490.

  * The deadline for receipt of applications was November 1, 1994.

     Advance notice of new guidelines for 1995: The 1995 event will be
an unrestricted Turing Test, requiring computer entries to be able to
converse for an indefinite period of time with no topic restrictions. In
1995, entries may be required to run on hardware located at the
competition site.

     For further information: Complete transcripts and IBM-compatible
diskettes that play the 1991, 1992, and 1993 conversations in real-time
are available for purchase from the Cambridge Center for Behavioral
Studies (tel: 617-491-9020, fax 1072; e-mail: 76557.1175@compuserve.com).
Sponsorship opportunities are available.

* * * * ****

Dr. Robert Epstein
Contest Director
619-436-4400 (fax 4490)

Dr. Hugh G. Loebner
Prize Donor
201-672-2277 (fax 7536)

* * * * ****

Alastair G. M. Milne
FAX: (714) 240-6229 (not always available, though)

End of NL-KR Digest