None of the six bots that made the Loebner Prize Competition finals won the prize, but Fred Roberts’ Elbot was declared the best of the lot, winning a bronze metal. Only five of the bots managed to start.
Apparently the sixth was busy elsewhere, rumored to be furiously buying and selling Credit Default Swaps on the weekend market.
The Guardian reports that
“Elbot emerged as the winner, after scooping a 25% success rate at convincing the judges that it was actually human. That’s not enough to please the ghost of Turing, but it was enough to pick up Elbot’s owner, Fred Roberts, a cash prize. Fred’s invention had a few tricks up his sleeve, including trying to the judges off their game by explicitly referring to itself as a machine.
“Hi. How’s it going?” one judge began.
“I feel terrible today,” Elbot replied. “This morning I made a mistake and poured milk over my breakfast instead of oil, and it rusted before I could eat it.”
The BBC has a video on the competition.