READING: Computers argued, cracked jokes and parried trick questions on Sunday, all part of a test of artificial intelligence carried out at the University of Reading.
Typing away at split-screen terminals, 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.
“There was one time when I was speaking to the two, and there was an element of humour in both conversations. That’s the one that stumped me more than others,” said Ian Andrews, one of the judges.
Transcripts of the conversations showed some savvy judges ruthlessly trying to trip programs up with questions about the day’s weather, the global financial turmoil and the colour of their eyes.
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