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Smart bots out-game human hunters

Increasingly, those who venture into any computer-driven environment will experience a diminishing ability to tell if they are dealing with another human being, or with an artifice constructed from machine code.

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Another milestone has been achieved in the seemingly unstoppable march by artificial intelligence to rival, and perhaps exceed, human intelligence. Thanks to a competition conceived and organised by Associate Professor Philip Hingston at Edith Cowan University’s School of Computer and Security Science, true anthropomorphism in the virtual world of gaming is here to stay.

What this means is that, increasingly, those who venture into any computer-driven environment will experience a diminishing ability to tell if they are dealing with another human being, or with an artifice constructed from machine code.

“I think we’ve achieved at least one element of the Turing test,” Philip says. “Two of our competitors in the latest BotPrize competition built game bots that the judges were unable to distinguish from human players.”

Alan Turing, famous for his code-breaking efforts at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, bypassed philosophical musings on the meaning of ‘intelligence’ by devising a simple test, which endures today. He proposed that if someone communicating with another party could not tell if that party was human or a machine, then the machine had passed the test of human-equivalent intelligence.

“Language is very difficult for computers, and no machine has yet passed the Turing test based on an extended (text) chat between human judges...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.