- Robby Garner
Robby Garner (born 1963) is a
natural languageprogrammer and software developer. He won the 1998 and 1999 Loebner Prize Contests with the program called Albert One. He is listed in the 2001 Guinness Book of World Recordsas having written the "most human" computer program.
A native of
Cedartown, Georgia, Robby attended Cedartown High School. He worked in his father's television repair shop and began programming for his family's business at age 15. Forming a software company called Robitron Software Research, Inc.Robitron Software Research, Inc. [http://www.simonlaven.com/fred.htm "The Simon Laven Page"] "Robitron History"] in 1987 with his father, Robert J. Garner, and his sister Pam, he worked as a software developer until 1997 when his father retired and the company was disbanded. Robby attended the University of Georgia, State University of West Georgia, Georgia Highlands College, and Kennesaw State University.
Early Conversational Systems
One of the first web chatterbots, named Max Headcold, was written by Garner in 1995. Max served two purposes, to collect data about web chat behaviorR. Garner [http://www.spiiras.nw.ru "SPECOM'98"] , The Tight Sponge Method, 1998, "SPIIRAS"] and to entertain customers of the FringeWare online bookstore. This program was eventually implemented as a Java package called JFREDL. Caputo, R. Garner, P. Nathan. [http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=304915 "FRED, Milton and Barry: the evolution of intelligent agents for the Web"] , Advances in intelligent systems, 1997."portal.acm.org"] , written by
Paco Nathanbased on the C++ FRED CGI program, and his own influences from Stanford and various corporations. Garner and Nathan took part in the world's largest online Turing test in 1998. Roger Highfield. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/htmlContent.jhtml?html=/archive/1998/03/21/nmega21.html "Megalab 98: Thousands are taken in by robotic patter"] ,Telegraph UK, 1998-03-21."telegraph.co.uk"] Their JFRED program was perceived as human by 17% of the participants.
Philosophy and Collaborations
A computational behaviorist after the term coined by Dr. Thomas Whalen in 1995James Mathews [http://www.generation5.org/content/2000/garner.asp "Generation5 Interview"] , 2000, "NLP"] , Garner's first attempts at simulating conversation involved collections of internet chat viewed as a sequence of stimuli and responses. Kevin Copple of Ellaz Systems has collaborated with Garner on several projects, including Copple's Ella, for which, Garner contributed voice recordings and music. Garner and Copple believe that intelligence may be built one facet at a time, rather than depending on some general purpose theory to emerge.EllaZ Systems [http://www.ellaz.com "AI Vault / Artful Intelligence"] "Design Credits"]
The Loebner Prize Contest
Competing in six Loebner Prize contests, he used the competition as a way to test his prototypes on the judges each year. After winning the contest twice in 1998 and 1999 with his program called
Albert OneBBC News [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/264663.stm "Albert is top talking computer"] "British Broadcasting Corporation"] , he began collaborating with other software developers in a variety of conversational systems. Having won the contest through incremental improvement to his own system, Garner attributes his success to the same principle that says intelligence may be acquired one facet at a time. Søren Gjellerup Christiansen [http://www.daimi.au.dk/~gjelle/thesis/cdrom/index.html "Techniques applied to pass the Turing Test"] "Master's Thesis"] Garner created the Robitron Yahoo Group in 2002 as a forum and virtual watering hole for Loebner Prize Contest participants and discussion of related topics.
The multifaceted approachR. Garner [http://www.robitron.com/Robby/Multifaceted.ppt "Multifaceted Conversational Systems"] , Colloquium on Conversational Systems, University of Surrey, 2005. "Robitron.com"] , presented at a colloquium on conversational systems in November 2005, involves multiple chat bots working under the control of a master control program. Using this technique, the strengths of various web agents may be united under the control of a Java applet or servlet. The control program categorizes stimuli and delegates responses to other programs in a hierarchy. A spin-off of this technique is the Turing HubRobert Epstein, Gary Roberts and Grace Beber [http://www.springerlink.com/content/n86142187u4024w2/?p=89f94cde8de24aec85e655376c830acd&pi=18&hl=u "The Turing Hub as a Standard for Turing Test Interfaces"] , Parsing The Turing Test, 2008. "Springer"] , an automated
Turing testfeaturing four of the top Loebner Prize Contest competitors.
Notes and references
* [http://simonlaven.com/jfred.htm Open Source Chat Server Project]
* [http://www.loebner.net/Prizef/loebner-prize.html Loebner Prize]
* [http://www.generation5.org/content/2000/garner.asp Generation5 Interview]
* [http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Robitron/ Robitron Discussion Group]
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