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Software tricks people into thinking it is human

In Tech on September 9, 2011 at 6:51 pm

By Jacob Aron

Are you talking to a person or a machine? It could soon be harder to tell amid claims that software called Cleverbot has passed one of the key tests of artificial intelligence: the Turing test.

Proposed by British computer scientist Alan Turing in the 1950s, the test states that if a human talking to a machine believes the machine is human, it passes.

The Cleverbot test took place at the Techniche festival in Guwahati, India. Thirty volunteers conducted a typed 4-minute conversation with an unknown entity. Half of the volunteers spoke to humans while the rest chatted with Cleverbot. All the conversations were displayed on large screens for an audience to see.

Both the participants and the audience then rated the humanness of all the responses, with Cleverbot voted 59.3 per cent human, while the humans themselves were rated just 63.3 per cent human. A total of 1334 votes were cast – many more than in any previous Turing test, says Cleverbot’s developer and AI specialist Rollo Carpenter.

“The world had better decide rather than me – it’s either passed or it’s come very close in this particular test,” says Carpenter.

Cleverbot converses by searching through the records of its previous conversations and selecting an appropriate response to the comment. The online version of the software performs this search three times before deciding on an answer, while the more powerful version used in the test ran…

Full article…

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