GDC 09: Bot Colony takes developers a step closer to passing the Turing test

North Side debuts conversational game technology

Research and development company North Side has used GDC 09 to unveil Bot Colony, which lets players converse with in-game characters.

Claiming a world first, North Side has created a game that not only allows users to interact with the software using ‘unrestricted English’, but also provides responses, asks questions, seeks clarification and acts upon information provided.

Aiming to open up gaming to new demographics with the technology used in Bot Colony, North Side has revealed in a press statement that it hopes its product ‘will appeal to both sexes, to a wider age group, and to people from different cultures’.

North Side has been working on solving the problem of creating workable conversational interaction, known in academic circles as the Turing test, for six years. While the company has declined to lay claim to passing the Turing test, it has suggested that it has overcome many obstacles that previously obstructed the development of spoken interfaces of this nature.

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