The judges may have expected less intelligent conversation and thereby were more easily fooled. "It doesn’t make a damned bit of difference to robotics or AI,” Rodney Brooks, an MIT professor of robotics (emeritus) and founder of Rethink Robotics, told me earlier this week. John Denning, who has been working on Goostman’s knowledge base since the turn of this century, has heard all the criticism and, in a conversation with me days after the unexpected Turing win, had a quick response. Eugene Goostman: If I say that I haven't a twitter handle - will it satisfy your inquisitive mind? They’ve been entering Eugene in Turing Test competitions, including Loebner's, for well over a decade, always incrementally improving their score. “We didn’t really expect or not expect this result," Denning said. Turing believed that by 2000, computers would be able to, through five-minute text-based conversations, fool humans into believing that they were flesh and blood, at least 30% of the time. Did I forget it or you really haven't told me about the place you are from? Eugene Goostman: I think, if American government keeps on suing Microsoft, one perfect day they'll just move to some other country... Depending on whom you talk to, Goostman's achievement is either a huge turning point for technology, or just another blip. Denning explained that the knowledge base was built in 2001 (with parts of it updated since then) when Apple was still in comeback mode and “Jobs hadn’t been sainted yet.” Me: Do you own an i Phone?
He got along well with his Russian-born counterparts and they got to talking about artificial intelligence. There are a number of inside jokes inside Goostman’s knowledge base. Eugene Goostman: Even if I have any special skills - it's my own business! “I totally respect these guys and people are gonna crap on this a lot," he said. ” The team, Denning explained, prepares for each test beforehand by updating Goostman to do its best within the parameters of the test. Me: It’s a social network Eugene Goostman: I can't believe it! "I don’t think we tricked anybody, we convinced them. Goostman has always been a 13-year-old and missed the mark every year, until now. Denning, who currently works in the healthcare industry (yes, all these guys have been building Goostman in their spare time), wants to apply their chat bot technology to helping people choose the right healthcare providers and doctors, but in a conversational way. Me: We like to call it the big Apple and it is the center of the Universe. Denning tried to explain the mix of information inside Goostman’s virtual head.
Eugene Goostman should not apply for that kind of job. Eugene Goostman: I call all these chatter-bots "chatter-nuts" due to their extremely high intelligence. Me: Are you worried about computers and robots becoming self-aware? I like computer games (especially "Need for Speed") and computers in general, but I'm not a "geek" as you could've thought! Eugene Goostman: Because it was my childish dream to do it! Eugene Goostman: By the way, do you know a terrible story about a chatterbot, that wanted to be a President? Denning: What we have is imported knowledge bases, like facts about the world.
"So we got caught by surprise a bit.” So much so that the team was not at the Turing event in England when Goostman won. Eugene Goostman: Oh, I believe in virtual nature of our world, existing inside the Original Computer, Crayegovah.