A Spanish team is in the first place of the 2K BotPrize 2010

In 1950 the British mathematician Alan Turing published an influential article entitled “Computing Machines and Intelligence.

There, for the first time, the question was posed as to whether a computer could think.

Faced with the impossibility of defining what intelligence is, Turing proposed to replace the initial question with an equivalent one, but much easier to prove: Can a computer impersonate by a human being?

Implicit in it is the idea that if a computer behaves for a reasonable time as if it were intelligent, it must be; after all, we also do not know what the mental processes of our human interlocutors are, and yet we have no doubts when it comes to accepting that they are reasoning.

That question, and the test derived from it, has come to be called the Turing test, and it is considered the Holy Grail of artificial intelligence.

Unfortunately, no computer or software created has ever passed it, or even come close. Many dating sites use fake profiles to lure users in, and use AI chatbots with some success, as described in this Milftastic review.

Programs like Eliza are capable of pretending for a brief moment, but only at the cost of very strictly limiting the domain of the conversation.

The organizers of the 2K BotPrize Award have therefore chosen to pose a simpler, but equally interesting challenge: can a computer play like a human being? It is clear that, in certain cases, they can play better than a human being, as they have demonstrated in checkers, backgammon, or chess; but what they don’t do at the moment is play as a human being.

The mistakes they make are not those of one person, not even a beginner, and furthermore, unlike real players, they often trip over the same stone multiple times.

Once the human player understands the weaknesses of his computer adversary, he usually has no difficulty exploiting them over and over again.

Programs, in general, do not learn from their mistakes.

The challenge of the 2K BotPrize contest is therefore to design a program that can play convincingly like a real person would.

To do this, humans and programs (or bots) face off in various rounds of pitched battles, or DeathMatches, in the action video game Unreal Tournament 2004.

During the games, each player judges, in real time, if he is facing a human or a bot. To win the first prize, a program must be able to reach or exceed 50% of “humanity”.

The most recent edition of the award, 2K BotPrize 2010, has been held as part of the events of the IEEE Conference on Computing Intelligence and Games that took place in Copenhagen (Denmark) between August 18 and 21.

In it, the ConsciousRobots team, from the Carlos III University of Madrid and programmed by Raúl Arrabales and Jorge Muñoz, has been victorious as the bot that has obtained the best result, 31.8% humanity, although it has not been able to take control the first prize as it is still quite far from 50%.

Paradoxically, quite a few human players haven’t succeeded either; the worst placed has obtained just over 35%, beating the program of the Spanish team by just 3.6%.

This year, the third edition of the 2K BotPrize was held, at the 2010 IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games, in Copenhagen.

The 2K BotPrize is an adaptation of the Turing test to the domain of video games, which consists of developing a bot for a computer game that is indistinguishable from a human player.

The Spanish team “Conscious-Robots” has won the third edition of the 2K BotPrize.

Formed by Raúl Arrabales, a true genius of artificial consciousness, and Jorge Muñoz, the team has not been able to fully pass the Turing Test, but they have shown the highest level of “humanity”, with a rating of 31.8% , very close to the worst valued human (35.4%), so the difference between humans and bots is close ».