Artificial Intelligence has long been a core research interest in Computer Science. Machines making sense of information and reacting the same way as humans have just not been that easy to develop. At the University of Reading (UK), five chat programs competed to lay claim to passing the Turing Test, a simple test to determine whether machines are capable of thought.
An excerpt from Associated Press:
Typing away at split-screen terminals Sunday, a dozen volunteers carried out two conversations at once: one with a chat program, the other with a human. After five minutes, they were asked to say which was which. Some were not sure who — or what — they were talking to.
At the end of the day, human intelligence still reigned with the chatbots not being able to confuse all 12 of the judges. The bronze award was won by Elbot, a chatbot designed by Fred Roberts.
Though it might be too extreme to assume that a chatbot able to deceive a human judges should pass for true intelligence, it could well be a start. Language does possess one of those skills that takes a life time to master.