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Think You're Smart?

by Mark H. Anbinder, News Editor <mha@baka.ithaca.ny.us>

If you're a smart computer, this is your chance to prove it. Continuing the quest for artificial intelligence, a California organization has announced its fourth annual competition for the Dr. Hugh G. Loebner prize. Competitors at the event, to be held on 16-Dec-94 at the new San Marcos campus of California State University, will need to pass a limited version of the classic Turing Test.

The competition was inspired by computer pioneer Alan Turing, who in 1950 proposed a test to determine whether computers can think. If a human interacting with a computer can't tell whether it's a computer or another human, the computer has passed the test. Dr. Loebner has put up monetary prizes to spur the development of computers that can successfully simulate independent thought.

This year's limited test allows software developers to specify a single area of conversation in which their entries may be tested. The author of this year's winning software will receive a $2,000 prize and a bronze medal. In 1995, the first open-ended contest, 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.

According to Dr. Robert Epstein, a research professor at National University, director emeritus of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, and the organizer of the Loebner Prize competition, some of the entries in earlier competitions "fooled some of the judges into thinking they were people."

You can obtain the official rules and an application by contacting the contest director.

Dr. Robert Epstein
933 Woodlake Drive
Cardiff by the Sea CA 92007-1009 USA
619/436-4400
619/436-4490 (fax)
<repstein@nunic.nu.edu>