Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) today announced an annual
competition to develop programs that can solve the Winograd Schema
Challenge, a test developed by Hector Levesque, Professor of Computer
Science at the University of Toronto, and winner of the 2013 IJCAI Award
for Research Excellence. Nuance announced the challenge at the 28th
AAAI Conference in Quebec, Canada.
Nuance is sponsoring the yearly competition in cooperation with CommonsenseReasoning.org,
a research group dedicated to furthering and promoting research in the
field of formal commonsense reasoning. CommonsenseReasoning.org will
organize, administer, and evaluate the Winograd Schema Challenge. The
winning program that passes the test will receive a grand prize of
$25,000. The test is designed to judge whether a program has truly
modeled human level intelligence.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has long been measured by the "Turing
Test," proposed in 1950 by one of the great pioneers of computer
science, Alan Turing, who sought a way to determine whether a computer
program exhibited human level intelligence. The test is considered
passed if the program can convince a human that he or she is conversing
with a human and not a machine. No system has ever passed the Turing
Test, and most existing programs that have tried rely on considerable
trickery to fool humans. Even the recently unveiled program modeling a
13-year-old boy has left many skeptical. These efforts have also
suggested that the Turing Test may not be an ideal way to judgea
The Winograd Schema Challenge is an alternative to the Turing Test that
provides a more accurate measure of genuine machine intelligence. Rather
than base the test on the sort of short free-form conversation suggested
by the Turing Test, the Winograd Schema Challenge poses a set of
multiple-choice questions that have a form where the answers are
expected to be fairly obvious to a layperson, but ambiguous for a
machine without human-like reasoning or intelligence.
An example of a Winograd Schema question is the following: "The trophy
would not fit in the brown suitcase because it was too big. What was too
big? Answer 0: the trophy or Answer 1: the suitcase?" A human who
answers these questions correctly typically uses his abilities in
spatial reasoning, his knowledge about the typical sizes of objects, and
other types of commonsense reasoning, to determine the correct answer.
"There has been renewed interest in AI and Natural Language Processing
(NLP) as a means of humanizing the complex technological landscape that
we encounter in our day-to-day lives," said Charles Ortiz, Senior
Principal Manager of AI and Senior Research Scientist, Natural Language
and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Nuance Communications. "The
Winograd Schema Challenge provides us with a tool for concretely
measuring research progress in commonsense reasoning, an essential
element of our intelligent systems. Competitions such as the Winograd
Schema Challenge can help guide more systematic research efforts that
will, in the process, allow us to realize new systems that push the
boundaries of current AI capabilities and lead to smarter personal
assistants and intelligent systems."
The test will be administered on a yearly basis by
CommonsenseReasoning.org starting in 2015. The first submission deadline
will be October 1, 2015. The 2015 Commonsense Reasoning Symposium, to be
held at the AAAI Spring Symposium at Stanford from March 23-25, 2015,
will include a special session for presentations and discussions on
progress and issues related to this Winograd Schema Challenge. Contest
details can be found at http://commonsensereasoning.org/winograd.html.
The winner that meets the baseline for human performance will receive a
grand prize of $25,000. In the case of multiple winners, a panel of
judges will base their choice on either further testing or examination
of traces of program execution. If no program meets those thresholds, a
first prize of $3,000 and a second prize of $2,000 will be awarded to
the two highest scoring entries. In the case of teams, the prize will be
given to the team lead whose responsibility will be to divide the prize
among its teammates as appropriate.
About Nuance Communications, Inc.
Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) is a leading provider of voice
and language solutions for businesses and consumers around the world.
Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience
more compelling by transforming the way people interact with devices and
systems. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses
experience Nuance's proven applications. For more information, please
Nuance and the Nuance logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of
Nuance Communications, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States of
America and/or other countries. All other company names or product names
may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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