Messing with AI

How would you know when computers can truly be classed as “intelligent”? Well, in 1950, Alan Turing came up with scheme that was later termed “The Turing Test”. It involved a human judge who held two simultaneous conversations, one with a machine and one with another human. If the judge cannot decide which is the human and which is the machine, than the AI program has passed the test. Today, 57 years later, this test is still around. I was reading that there’s a yearly contest called the Loebner Prize Competition for Artificial Intelligence (AI) where a number of systems are tested in this way. A few days ago, Zabaware’s Ultra Hal software won the “most human” computer of the year in the 17th annual Loebner Prize Competition for Artificial Intelligence.

Here’s the press release I was reading …

Zabaware’s Ultra Hal software won the “most human” computer of the year in the 17th annual Loebner Prize Competition for Artificial Intelligence (AI). The contest was held in New York City hosted by philanthropist Hugh Loebner.

The Loebner Prize is an annual competition where software programs attempt to convince human judges that they are actually people. The format of the competition is called a Turing Test. In a Turing Test a judge talks with 2 “entities” simultaneously through a text-based instant messaging system. One entity is a human and the other is a computer. It is up to the judge to decide which is which by typing questions to both entities and receiving answers.

Zabaware is an Erie, Pennsylvania based company that specializes in artificial intelligence technology. The company’s mission “giving your computer the power of thought” once considered a futuristic pipe dream is becoming a 2007 reality.

It is one thing to talk to your computer it is quite another to have a conversation where you are exchanging information and the computer learns and utilizes the information in the future. Zabaware’s Ultra Hal technology and its associated brain are currently doing just that. The software can give your computer a personality using AI technology, speech recognition technology, and real-time animation. It can be used as an entertainment program, a companion, or an office assistant. It learns from conversations and evolves and improves the more it talks with a person. In addition to chat it can perform useful functions such as remembering and reminding of appointments, keeping an address book, dialing phone numbers, launching program, and more.

Zabaware’s Ultra Hal software runs on most standard Windows computers. The artificial intelligence software is available for download at as a free 30-day trial.

Sounds like something great to play with. If you want to give it a try you can download AI software at the link above.

One comment

  1. Robert Medeksza (Zabaware) has been working on AI programs for years. Saw on that he did called Bob Os 32-bit. It’s dated 30 Dec 96. Medeksza is only 24 now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.