The 2005 Fourth British Computer Society's Annual Prize for Progress towards Machine Intelligence was won by IFOMIND, a mobile robot system that demonstrates intuition as it meets a new object in its world. The machine was designed and developed by a team working from Belfast University.

Second in the same event came an online ‘robot’ able to chat with human interlocutors. Called George, the robot is a ‘personality’ from Jabberwacky, developed by Scientist Rollo Carpenter. Visitors to its Web site can have conversations with the robot, which are so odd they seem real. Frankly it has to be experienced to be believed. And, with typical responses to normal questions including, ‘are you a ghost’ and ‘I am interested in your mind’, it’s also quite scary.

PRefect wonders if one day it will be possible to develop a race of humans who demonstrate intelligence when they meet a new object in the world. Until this happens, it will content itself by talking to George - Of course, if you are bored talking to George, you can always talk to PRefect –

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