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New computer programme 'bot' acts just like 'real person'

London, Fri, 28 Sep 2012 ANI

London, Sept. 28 (ANI): A computer programme 'bot' that hunts down and kills opponents in a video game has been judged to display behaviour that is identical to a human.

The bot, called UT 2, claimed first prize in the annual BotPrize competition. It fooled other players and judges that it was human during a game to win the prize.

Bots are computer programme that control video game characters and play against real people.

According to the BBC, the BotPrize competition is a form of Turing test. It involves real players and bots playing a modified version of a combat game called Unreal Tournament 2004.

To pass the test a machine has to display intelligent behaviour that is indistinguishable from that of a human.

The game is a death match in which both bots and humans explore a 3D world and attempt to kill each other by engaging in multiple rounds of combat.

During the BotPrize competition, humans and bots use a special "judgement gun" to shoot opponents that they believe are human.

"We can't judge 'humanness' directly so we have to look at how often people mistakenly judge bots as human during a game," Philip Hingston, organiser of the BotPrize competition and an academic at Edith Cowan University in Australia, said.

According to the report, simple bots can be programmed to be extremely fast and accurate, but game players don't find these as fun to play against as real opponents, and they are easily distinguished from humans, he added.

Hingston suggested that the artificial intelligence algorithms developed for the competition could have more serious applications than gaming in the future.

"They could be used in military training simulators to mimic the behaviour of villagers in Afghanistan or they could be to give robots more human behaviour," he said. (ANI)

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