Loebner Prize founder fooled by chatbot

Robert Epstein one of the founders of the Loebner Prize (an annual conversational Turing type of test) whilst apparently looking for love on the Internet, struck up an email conversation with Ivana, a pretty, brown haired Russian girl, or so he thought!

Now, as you might imagine in engaging with someone who speaks a different language to your own, there may be a few difficulties. However, this is the era of Google translate, so one expects (using fairly simple phrases and structures) to be understood.

It was clear in early exchanges that Ivana was forming a fondness for Robert and using some poetic terms too. Robert though became puzzled by Ivana’s inability to properly answer any questions he posed. In the end he just sent her a lot of gibberish to which she responded with an email about her mother.

It dawned on Robert, the middle aged Californian, that after two months of emailing Ivana, he had been duped in to conversing with a chatbot!

Would it pass the Loebner Prize? Well, if you look at it dispassionately, clearly not, as there was no attempt at answering questions posed. However, if you’re looking for love then maybe even the best can be strung along for a while.

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