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A quick word about the entries in this year’s Loebner Prize

The 4 day Loebner Prize is underway and day 1 has just nicely finished. Today was aimed at schools and over 200 children turned up!

There are 17 chatbots in the contest and I must admit that many of them are simply unsuitable for the contest.

Some of the entries were very unstable and kept crashing. Some required the internet and so cannot be included in the Loebner Prize decision. Some internet based ones didn’t work at all due to websites being down. Most of them were definitely not up to public scrutiny and crashed after users accidentally closed them. A few of the entries are definitely not conversational AI and could only answer a few specific questions, so it looks like there hasn’t been any kind of quality control. One was even a Facebook Messenger bot and others needed extra software downloading in order to work (java/flash player etc)

It was incredibly frustrating for the children/staff to have to deal with these crashes and bots being unavailable. If you’re going to submit an internet bot for the event, at least make sure your website is available please. I can only assume that some botmasters didn’t read the part where it said this year was a public exhibition.

*rant over*

Apart from that, it was good to meet fellow botmasters: Daniel Burke, Will Rayer and Jim Curran (remember Simplex?). When the bots were working, the children enjoyed speaking with them and were having fun. One surprise was that Bruce Wilcox didn’t submit an entry this year but it was good to interact with a few bots that I’d not heard of before.

Day 2 is aimed at businesses and starts at 10am on Friday.


  [ # 1 ]

Was the brian the robot chatbot in the competition? I was sent a message telling me to send documents or pictures for flyers a week ago. Also java was required for my submission but it simply required program ab. It wasn’t a facebook messenger app. It’s the standard program that all aiml 2.0 robots use. Anyway if that was mine, I guess it wasn’t too well liked which is too bad.


  [ # 2 ]

Yours worked fine Brian. However, as it was running in a command prompt, the children accidentally closed it down a couple of times but I restarted it. You may want to check your AIML as lots of errors were flashing up the screen as the program loaded.


  [ # 3 ]

Thank you Steve. Im really happy that submission worked. This has been a dream of mine for a while.

Sorry about making assumptions, I was just kind of worried about my submission since it required java. The submissions were allowed installers for there programs and since mine used an offline java installer and then the program ran normally afterwards. I really didn’t think that broke the rules. If my submission did freeze at the exhibition which might have happened, It can be likely be fixed if using service pack 2 in windows 7. All that would be needed is to set it to maximum performance. There will be still be wait times for some responses but it should never freeze.


  [ # 4 ]

as long it said it loads at least around 2000 categories. everything should be fine. no errors should show up. its possible there were some non loading aiml files on the submission I sent. although again as long as there were around 2000 categories. a majority of the bot is there. I just loaded the program on my computer. however what should show up when the program loads are the hundreds of aiml files that the program has. sounds like everything worked out fine though.


  [ # 5 ]

I’ll take a look how many categories load when it restarts in the morning. There were definitely errors though.


  [ # 6 ]

thank you for being so nice. Hopefully I don’t have to reupload anything. it looked like the original file had 4 errors in questions.aiml making the file questions.aiml unusable. It doesn’t like I ever fixed those errors. the original had exactly 2681 categories in brian.bat and 2651 categories in loebnerquestions23.bat which doesn’t need to be used because I think the qualifier has been removed this year. (also not sure if im even going to be in that.) anyway it’s disappointing I thought the kids would get a kick out of talking a robot via command line like in the movie war games. it would really be terrible if those errors shutdown the robot but I think what’s more likely is that the computer froze because of the fact the robot uses no sentence splitters. anyway hopefully there were a couple of people that were able to use the robot without any problems.


  [ # 7 ]

I just restarted your bot. There are a ton of errors that scroll up the screen too quickly to read. It loaded 2683 categories and appears to be responding ok.  The kids did enjoy using it and only closed it by accident.


  [ # 8 ]

Thank you steve for helping me when you didn’t have to. Im relieved to know that all the categories are there. I tried to input the question What would you do if you won the loebner prize? and for whatever reason because of something I did it just rejected that category.  anyway i’ll trust you that they’re a ton of errors.

however, I was pretty sure that whenever there’s an error in aiml the category that the error is in isn’t listed in the number of categories
for the robot. Hopefully it won’t be a big deal. Honestly, I’m not ashamed of errors. Admittedly they’ll cause me to lose the loebner if I make it that far, but as long as no freezes occur I’ll be fine.

unfortunately, I have a very large code base, and I try to keep the date modified on the files in windows as recent as possible. If I ever win a contest, or the robot becomes popular enough to be well known I might stop that. The point is this is something the robot often does.

human response: hows the weather
li cold and rainy end tag li li fine I guess end li li sraisaysomethingelseendsrai   end li
srai saysomethingelse
matches pattern *
li star endli
response saysomethingelse

Anyway enjoy the rest of your day.


  [ # 9 ]

thank you steve, since the robot was added to the competition I removed several hypervisor aiml from my robot for some reason. these aiml files control the robot breaking up large sentences into smaller sentences in certain topics(at least I think that’s what those categories are for).

additional information:
the only thing added to the robot that isn’t in the files for the competition is the ability for the robot to learn. however the way it does this is still inferior to the way it learns on pandorabots. on pandorabots it will say a phrase that indicates its willing to learn and then if you say something that doesn’t match a pattern in the robot it learns. However, it also adds the pattern into a repository of responses it can use whenever it wants. I can’t get that feature to work in program ab. It’s possibly because the robot’s learn file is in it’s own topic. however, for whatever reason I force everything to be in it’s own topic. I had this idea of adding definitions to the first line item srai of several words in the robot which were all defined with each other. It may not have done anything, but I think that if robots are to think it’s not with specific instructions that tell them what to do it’s with general ai and although my idea might not have worked I thought it was worth a shot.


  [ # 10 ]

a. I can’t upload files on Pandorabots or publish changes. Did something happen at the exhibition? I can’t get in contact with Pandorabots until Monday. sorry it looks like I was using a program called process lasso to change io priority to mitigate meltdown patches and for some reason it doesn’t work with pandorabots.


  [ # 11 ]

Nothing at the Loebner Prize will affect your online bot as all bots that enter are not supposed to use the Internet. I have no idea what process lasso is and so am unable to guide you. I just tried uploading a file and republishing a bot and everything was fine, so I assume it’s this process lasso software, as you said it doesn’t work with Pandorabots.

Were you using this to submit your Loebner Prize entry? This may explain the errors when your bot is started.


  [ # 12 ]

anyway I’m not going to post for the rest of the event. Im guessing these messages have gotten pretty annoying. I don’t know why I thought pandorabots and the loebner event were related. however, I figured they’d be at the event, and this is the first time I hadn’t been able to upload.(it wasn’t rational. I’m not sure what I was thinking) I know it would be a lot more work to be at the event. It’s just weird not knowing anything about how the event was going.

I do believe the robot does have errors. However, I think the problems the robot has are caused more by the fact that it’s designed to answer everything as generally as possible. everything is in random tags and the default category is only accessible in any pattern.
so a strange response from the robot is unfortunately normal.

this is what my robot is designed to do.

the robot does spit out things like saywhatyouwant and stories3 at the end of sentences.
the robot is designed to reply to sentences it has no information for.
so asking the robot specific questions that most robots have and hoping to get answers doesn’t give any answers
the robot has all the loebner question types from previous years split up into their question words how what why etc
the robot is designed to answer all questions that start with question words.(at least I think so)
however the robot is not a general knowledge robot.
The robot is designed to be pressed but is not filled with a database of specific questions.
there is generally no difference between matching a pattern and not matching a pattern as all the default category options are answers in the pattern or their is an option to answer as if you were using the default category.


  [ # 13 ]

By “errors”, Steve only means the technical error messages that show up when the bot is first loaded, not errors during the actual conversations with the visitors. Either way, relax, there’s not much one can do while the event is underway.

The BBC just published an article on the event:


  [ # 14 ]

Brian - I restarted your bot and videoed it loading so you can see the errors:

Not sure if the sound is on the video but each of the errors is accompanied by a beep. This lasts around 5 minutes much to the annoyance of the other people in the room.


  [ # 15 ]

somehow the robot got a virus in transit. Ive never seen those errors. the robots never been run on mac os. Its possible that its a compiler error from modifying the line breaks in the program ab java file. Im not sure why windows 7 is showing
those messages. it never displays corrupt text or a message saying mac os x on my end. the program was created in windows 10. anyway, thanks for everything.


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