Loebner prize

Loebner prize

The Loebner Prize is an annual competition that awards prizes to the Chatterbot considered by the judges to be the most humanlike of those entered. The format of the competition is that of a standard Turing test. In the Loebner Prize, as in a Turing test, a human judge is faced with two computer screens. One is under the control of a computer, the other is under the control of a human. The judge poses questions to the two screens and receives answers. Based upon the answers, the judge must decide which screen is controlled by the human and which is controlled by the computer program.

The contest was begun in 1990 by Hugh Loebner in conjunction with the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies of Massachusetts, United States. It has since been associated with Flinders University, Dartmouth College, the Science Museum in London, and most recently the University of Reading.

Within the field of artificial intelligence, the Loebner Prize is somewhat controversial; the most prominent critic, Marvin Minsky, has called it a publicity stunt that does not help the field along.


The prizes for each year include:

  • $2,000 for the most human-seeming of all chatterbots for that year - awarded every year. In 2005, the prize was increased to $3,000, and the prize was $2,250 in 2006. In 2008 the prize will be $3000.00
  • $25,000 for the first chatterbot that judges cannot distinguish from a real human in a text-only Turing test, and that can convince judges that the other (human) entity they are talking to simultaneously is a computer. (to be awarded once only)
  • $100,000 to the first chatterbot that judges cannot distinguish from a real human in a Turing test that includes deciphering and understanding text, visual, and auditory input. (to be awarded once only)

The Loebner Prize dissolves once the $100,000 prize is won.

2008 Loebner Prize

The 2008 Competition is to be held on Sunday 12 October in University of Reading, UK. The event, which is being co-directed by Kevin Warwick, will include a direct challenge on the Turing test as originally proposed by Alan Turing. The first place winner will receive $3000.00 and a bronze medal.

2007 Loebner Prize

The 2007 Competition was held on Sunday, 21 October in New York City. The participants in the contest were:

No bot passed the Turing test but the judges ranked the bots as "most human". The results of the contest were:

  • 1st place: Robert Medeksza
  • 2nd place: Noah Duncan
  • 3rd place: Rollo Carpenter

The winner received $2250 and the Annual Medal. The runners up received $250 each.

2006 Loebner Prize

On Wednesday, August 30, the finalists for the 2006 Loebner Prize were announced.

The finalists were:

  • Rollo Carpenter
  • Richard Churchill and Marie-Claire Jenkins
  • Noah Duncan
  • Robert Medeksza

The contest was held on Sunday, 17 September at the Torrington Theatre, University College London.


Year Winner Program
1991 Joseph Weintraub PC Therapist
1992 Joseph Weintraub PC Therapist
1993 Joseph Weintraub PC Therapist
1994 Thomas Whalen TIPS
1995 Joseph Weintraub PC Therapist
1996 Jason Hutchens HeX
1997 David Levy Converse
1998 Robby Garner Albert One
1999 Robby Garner Albert One
2000 Richard Wallace Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity (A.L.I.C.E.)
2001 Richard Wallace A.L.I.C.E.
2002 Kevin Copple Ella
2003 Juergen Pirner Jabberwock
2004 Richard Wallace A.L.I.C.E.
2005 Rollo Carpenter George
2006 Rollo Carpenter Joan
2007 Robert Medeksza Ultra Hal

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