Since 1990, the $100,000 Loebner prize has been left sitting on the table, patiently waiting for a computer program to come along that’s capable of carrying on a conversation indistinguishable from a conversation with a human. So far, no program has even been able to claim the $25,000 silver prize, which would be awarded to a program that can fool just two judges in the Loebner panel that it’s human. So robots can’t fool people. But can they fool other chatbots? Cornell decided to put that question to the test, to hilarious results.
Before you run out and buy that toaster oven on sale based on a glowing user review or staying at a particular side street hotel because John Smith gave it a five-star writeup on some Web reviews site, consider for a moment that you could be reading a bogus account. Positive reviews are a hot commodity, and Cornell is working on a formula to automatically detect the fake ones.