Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro (firstname.lastname@example.org) was at the Boston
Computer Museum 11/8/91. He reports that the ten topics were:
1) women's clothing, 2) Smalltalk, 3) 2nd grade elementary school,
4) Shakespeare, 5) whimsical conversation, 6) fishing, 7) advice
in romantic situations, 8) burgundy wine, 9) jazz, and 10) dry
martinis. About 130 programs "applied" to compete, but no more
than eight were selected. Judges were to rank-order the
contestants after 14 minutes with each. At the event, Fishing and
Jazz dropped out due to technical difficulties. Others were
immediately identifiable as computers by their errors or speed.
When 2nd Grade School was asked "which things you prefer at
school", the reply was "Today is Friday, November 8". Burgundy
started by printing "O1#V!5KD;D.." and could not deal with "Why do
you prefer red wines over white?" Only Women's Clothing and
Shakespeare gave responsive answers.
Whimsical Conversation was the only difficult choice, as its
"dialogue" consisted of jokes and psychobabble: "You're cute ...
would you like to fool around for a little? How important is that
to you? Can you believe this crazy competition?" Gregory was not
impressed, but five of the ten judges thought it was human!
Joseph Weintraub, president of Thinking Software (Woodside, NY),
received a bronze medal and $1500 prize for writing the program.
(A grand prize of $100,000 has been provided by Hugh Loebner,
a NY businessman.) A detailed report will appear in the January
Scientific American. [comp.ai, 11/22.]