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Press accounts on EllaZ Systems

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Below please find a number of descriptions and links to press accounts related to EllaZ Systems activities, some informative and some rather humorous: 

Presenter of BBC2's 'Top Gear' since 1989, Jeremy Clarkson narrated in a one hour science program seen in January, 2004.  The episode about computers went from Babbage and his mechanical "difference engine" to the latest robots from Japan and computers with human interface skills.  Producer/Director Peter Leonard says about the show:

The programme went down well here, and I'm sure the viewers enjoyed what we put together.  The 'EllaZ' section is what I hope you will agree, an affectionate look at where the state of the AI Chatbox is at currently.  We were trying to test how far Turing's AI definition has come since he predicted in 1952(?) that 'these kind of conversations' would happen in 100 years . . .

The futurist webzine The Speculist, reports in part on December 15, 2003:

The folks at EllaZ Systems seem more interested in creating a chatbot with a recognizable persona than they are in making a political statement.  Unlike most chatbots, AI Bush has something to do: he's got a country to run.  And in trying to get reelected, he has a clearly stated goal for the future.

Ray Kurzweil's AI news website has an article:

'AI Bush' chatbot uses advanced natural-language programming

AI Bush, "an interactive Robot President," is an experimental natural-language program and game from EllaZ Systems.

Announced today, it is based on the program "Ella," which won the worldwide Loebner Prize Contest in 2002 as the "most human computer."

AI Bush games include the strategy game "Reelect Bush?" You are a close advisor, helping him make decisions.  The President's expressions, voice clips, and tracking polls tell you how things are going.

The only actual reporter at the 2002 Loebner Prize Contest in Atlanta, Georgia was Von Hubertus Breur, who produced an article that appeared in the Suddeutsch Zeitung, which has been described as the Wall Street Journal of Germany. The article was published Tuesday, October 15, 2002.  We are lucky to have an English translation of this entertaining article by Fred Roberts (the author of Elbot):

German Press

Another entertaining article appeared in the Quark Soup section of the LAWeeklyThis article by Margaret Wertheim is titled with a quote from Ella she obtained during an on-line chat, "Communication Can Be Tough." The article begins:

HOW HUMAN ARE YOU ON A GIVEN DAY? LAST weekend at the annual Loebner Prize competition, Paul Pareti was rated the most human among a field of 10 candidates. Pareti soundly beat his fellow human, Robby Garner, who came in a dismal eighth. Competing against these two "meat machines" were eight of the world's elite chatterbots, computer programs specially designed to simulate conversation. Here's the opening volley of a typical conversation with a previous Loebner-winning bot: . . .

This article appeared at and gave Robby Garner of a chance to tell his side of the story:

How I Failed the Turing Test Without Even Being There

Blather guest writer, Robby Garner, winner of the Loebner prize for two years running, explains how he failed this year's Turing test. Very impressive, as he is a human being. Apparently.

You can find the article here.

This announcement appeared on the AboutAI homepage:

Ella wins Loebner Prize Contest!
Oct, 14th, 2002
We already talked about Ella, an ASP.NET chatterbot that uses WordNet for definitions and word searches.  She's the winner of this year's Loebner Prize (surprisingly, ALICE comes in 6th), and you can find more details here.

EllaDemo5.exe was included on a CD-ROM with the magazine as one of the "Topp 20 Chatterbots der Welt" in the Sept/Oct 2001 issue of Nautilus Abenteur & Phantastik.  Click on the image below to visit the website and learn more about this magazine - it helps if you can read German :-)


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