Artificial Stupidity: The Saga Of Hugh Loebner

from the eccentric-people dept

Salon is running “part 1” of a story

all about Hugh Loebner and his Loebner prize for artificial intelligence. If you follow this stuff at all, you probably already know that Loebner sponsors an annual “Turing test” to see if anyone can create a bot that will fool someone into thinking it’s human. What you might not know, unless you’re much more involved with Loebner or the AI world, is some of the details about why many people previously involved in the contest can’t stand him. The best story of all, though, is how Marvin Minsky, often credited as the father of AI became a “co-sponsor” of the Loebner Prize. In fact, he trashed the idea and promised $100 to whoever convinced Loebner to stop running the contest. Loebner came back with a press release saying that Minsky was co-sponsoring the Loebner Prize, since the only way to make him stop putting on the contest was to have someone win it. So, whoever won the contest would be owed $100 by Minsky – hence his “sponsorship” of the prize. Minsky, apparently, has never stopped being angry at Loebner for this. Should be an interesting part 2 to this story…

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Comments on “Artificial Stupidity: The Saga Of Hugh Loebner”

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1 Comment
Anonymous Coward says:

I know Hugh Loebner

Hey, he’s a nutcase, but I don’t see anything wrong with putting up money as a contest. The academics are just a bunch of sanctimonious jerks because he won’t place them firmly in charge. To hear him tell the story, they were constantly coming up with reasons to put the contest off for another year while collecting their fee.

Now, I’ve know a few academics and they can be arrogant jerks. So I’m inclined to go with Hugh on this one. I don’t see how holding the contest is hurting anyone.

And, I have to admit a certain respect for someone who maneuvers Marvin Minsky into a logical corner.

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