Bristol  - Nello Cristianini, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Bristol gives some perspective to the prize:

“It is fun, like robot-wars can be fun to watch, but it tells us nothing about machine intelligence” Nello told me. “This test mixes notions of consciousness with those of empathy and language and intelligence, with cultural aspects too.”

“Much better to focus on the definition of intelligent machines as agents pursuing their own goals and learning to get better at those, autonomously, with experience” he said.

It has been a fascinating day - and has revealed a great deal about where we are with AI. The chatbots in the competition didn’t seem too convincing to me, but then conversation is a hugely complex thing and something that a lot of humans I know aren’t particularly good at. The main thing I’ve got out of the day is a realisation about how truly amazing the human brain is. 

I’m starting to question whether we should be attempting to recreate it. As Steve Worswick, runner-up in this year’s contest, pointed out - maybe the whole idea of making a machine human is missing the point. What we really need is machines that are intelligent, but does that intelligence need to mirror our own? 

Perhaps we should let the robots do it their way! Jenny Abbot was watching the action unfold here at Bletchley. She came to support her partner who was one of the humans chatting to the judges. She was trying to work out whether he was talking to Rory in the last round. 

“They are talking about gardening and he doesn’t garden so I don’t think it is him,” she said. She isn’t entirely convinced that she can tell which of the chats is a bot and is surprised at how much personality they seem to have.