Dr. Hugh Gene Loebner
The MIT Technology Review article How To Be Human: Call centers might be able to teach “chat bots” a thing or two about passing the Turing Test said
If this year’s winner of the Loebner Prize is on the right track, call-center data could be what’s needed to achieve the ultimate goal of artificial intelligence (AI): creating a computer program smart enough to hold a natural conversation.
A self-trained enthusiast with no formal academic background in AI, Rollo Carpenter created the winning program, which learns by analyzing its conversations with people as they “chat” with it online. Regardless of the language, his program analyzes every utterance it witnesses, using what Carpenter calls contextual pattern-recognition techniques. Then, when a user asks the program a question, a database is combed for the best response, statistically speaking.
This method may work for idle chit-chat. But if his bots automated programs meant to perform specific tasks are ever to be used in a serious commercial application or to pass the famous Turing Test for artificial intelligence, they will need a vast number of conversations, and computing power to match, says Carpenter. “I need more data,” he says.
Hugh Gene Loebner is
President and CEO of
the sponsor of the
Loebner Prize, an embodiment of the Turing test.
His patents include Brightpen/pad graphic device for computer inputs and the like, Multiple language learning aid, Planar means for indicating a gratuity as a function, and Apparatus to digitize graphic and scenic information and to determine the position of a stylus for input into a computer or the like.
He is a member of Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He earned his BA at The Johns Hopkins University, his MA at New York University, and his Ph.D. in Demography at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
He authored The True Olympic Scandal and Magna Carta for Sex Work. Read A Fluent and Lateral Thinker in The Weekend Australian. and Don Quixote by Salon.com. Read his response to the Salon article. Read his LinkedIn profile.