Human or machine? Jabberwacky chatbot put to the ultimate test.

(PRWEB) September 17, 2003

“Is this normal?”, “Are you a philosopher?”, or simply “How are you today?” are some of the questions you might be faced with when talking to the UK finalist for this year’s Loebner Prize Contest, at

Jabberwacky is an artificially intelligent chat robot – or ‘chatbot’ – on the internet. Its purpose, according to creator, Rollo Carpenter, is to simulate natural human chat, in an interesting and entertaining manner. It attempts to model the way humans learn language, facts, context and rules. Jabberwacky is unique, and unrelated to any other AI technologies.

Rollo Carpenter said: “Jabberwacky is different. It learns. Constant feedback from real people makes it come to life. Every day some people believe they are connected to a human, asking questions like ‘How do you type so fast?’ and ‘How much do you get paid for doing this?'”

“Jabberwacky now has more than a million entries in its database. I believe that, with 10 million, it will appear human to most people most of the time, and will have a genuine role as a companion or conversational partner to humans.”

Jabberwacky is the only UK-based chatbot to reach the finals of the 2003 Loebner Prize, one of eight to have qualified from around the world, alongside four finalists from the USA, two from Germany and one from Mexico.

The Loebner Prize Contest is based on the Turing Test of artificial intelligence. Alan Turing, the brilliant British mathematician, asked in his 1950’s paper, “Can computers think, and if so, how would we know?”. The Loebner Contest addresses this question by comparing computers with humans. A panel of judges will rate these eight finalists plus two humans for “humanness” by holding conversations by typing at terminals, each of which is connected either to a programme or to a real person.

Lynne Hamill, Executive Director of the Digital World Research Centre, said, “The Loebner Prize Contest demonstrates how we could all relate to technology in the future. At present, people are struggling to cope in the digital world. But friendly computer interfaces that speak everyday English will help bridge the digital divide.”

Try your own Turing Test at:

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Notes for editors

The following provides summary information. More detailed information, including example conversations, is available on request.

About Jabberwacky and Rollo Carpenter

Jabberwacky is an artificial intelligence of a type known known as a ‘bot”, a ‘chatbot’ or a ‘chatterbot’. Jabberwacky originated in 1989, but truly emerged when put on the web in 1998. Jabberwacky learns everything you say, and uses only this learning while conversing – an approach very different from the norm.

Rollo Carpenter’s work includes, creating dynamic, intelligent web designs, and, applying AI techniques to the invention of names for companies and sites. As CTO of California-based, Rollo Carpenter architected a web-delivered business software solution.

Rollo Carpenter is available in the UK for interview about Jabberwacky, artificial intelligence and the Turing Test. Pictures of Rollo Carpenter and Jabberwacky are available on request.

About The Loebner Prize

The Loebner Prize Contest in Artificial Intelligence was established in 1990 by Hugh Loebner and was first held at the Boston Computer Museum in 1991. The Turing Test is named after the British mathematician, Alan Turing, whose many accomplishments included basic research in computing science.

The International 2003 Loebner Prize Contest will be held in the UK, at the University of Surrey, Guildford, on 18 October 2003. The event will be hosted by the Digital World Research Centre, with technical assistance from Maybot Ltd, under the aegis of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, Massachusetts, USA.

There is a Grand Prize of $ 100,000 and a gold medal for a program whose conversation is indistinguishable from a human’s. The “most human” program each year wins a prize of $ 2,000 and a bronze medal.

More information on the Loebner Prize Contest can be found on the Digital World Research Centre’s website,, or on the website of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies,

Dr Hugh Loebner is a New York philanthropist and donor of the prizes. By training he is a sociologist, with interests in methodology and mathematical sociology, go to:


UK Finalist, 2003:

Rollo Carpenter, Jabberwacky

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7228 0995


Annabel Blair, Jabberwacky media relations

Tel: +44 (0) 7771 708457


Digital World Research Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK

Mrs Lynne Hamill, Executive Director

Tel: +44 (0) 1483 689446, Fax: +44 (0) 1483 689550


Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, 336 Baker Ave, Concord, MA 01742, USA

Dr Dwight Harshbarger, Executive Director

Tel: +1-978-369-2227, Fax: +1-978-369-8584

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