Alan Bundy receives the 2020 EurAI Distinguished Service Award

AISB Fellow Prof Alan Bundy  will receive this year’s EurAI Distinguished Service Award. This award is presented every two years to a person having contributed significantly to the advancement of AI. Nominations have to be supported by a EurAI member society such as AISB. We are very happy that our nomination was supported by EurAI leading to this remarkable award being presented to Alan Bundy.

The award will be officially announced during the opening ceremony of ECAI 2020 on Sunday, 30 August 2020 and Alan will also be honoured at both the Fellows lunch and the EurAI General Assembly.


Alan Bundy is Professor of Automated Reasoning in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests include: the automation of mathematical reasoning, with applications to reasoning about the correctness of computer software and hardware; and the automatic construction, analysis and evolution of representations of knowledge. His research combines artificial intelligence with theoretical computer science and applies this to practical problems in the development and maintenance of computing systems. He is the author of over 300 publications and has held over 60 research grants.

He is a fellow of several academic societies, including the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB). His awards include the IJCAI Research Excellence Award (2007), the CADE Herbrand Award (2007) and a CBE (2012). He was: Edinburgh’s founding Head of Informatics (1998-2001); founding Convener of UKCRC (2000-05); and a Vice President and Trustee of the British Computer Society with special responsibility for the Academy of Computing (2010-12). He was also a member of: the Hewlett-Packard Research Board (1989-91); the ITEC Foresight Panel (1994-96); both the 2001 and 2008 Computer Science RAE panels (1999-2001, 2005-8); and the Scottish Science Advisory Council (2008-12).

Mitsuku wins 2019 Loebner Prize and Best Overall Chatbot at AISB X

For the fourth consecutive year, Steve Worswick’s Mitsuku has won the Loebner Prize for the most humanlike chatbot entry to the contest. This is the fifth time that Steve has won the Loebner Prize. The Loebner Prize is the world’s longest running Turing-Test competition and has been organised by AISB, the world’s oldest AI society, since 2014. For the first time this year, the chatbot contest was embedded in a public-outreach event AISBX: Creativity Meets Economy, that was held at the Computational Foundry on Swansea University’s Bay Campus from 12-15 September and attracted over 300 visitors.


The event combined workshops on chatbots for over 200 school children from 6 schools in South Wales with a public art exhibition, a chatbot exhibition, and a work programme on conversational AI systems attended by an international audience from the USA, Jersey, and the UK. The chatbot exhibition showed 17 conversational AIs by developers from countries such as Switzerland, Vietnam, USA, The Netherlands, Poland, UK, Jersey, Italy, and Spain. The art exhibition showed fascinating pieces and installations from international artists John Gerrard, Gene Kogan, Daniel Berio, Simon Colton, Cuan McMurrough, and From digital graffiti, synthesised news headlines, and thought-provoking works on climate and embodiment, the exhibition achieved its aim of instigating discussions amongst the audience and the organisers of the event that was co-funded by CHERISH.DE and AISB.

The longest running Turing Test competition is on at Bletchley Park.

The Loebner Prize
Bletchley Park, Saturday 8 September, 1pm4pm
The Loebner Prize is the oldest Turing Test contest, started in 1991 by Hugh Loebner and the Cambridge Centre for Behavioural studies. Since then, a number of institutions across the globe have hosted the competition including recently, the Universities of Reading, Exeter and Ulster. From 2014, the contest has been run under the aegis of the AISB, the world’s first AI society (founded 1964) at Bletchley Park where Alan Turing worked as a code-breaker during World War 2.

This year the Loebner prize will take place on Saturday 8 September from 1pm until 4pm.The first 4 chatbots from the selection round will compete in the finals at Bletchley Park in Learning Rooms 3/4.

An entry ticket to Bletchley Park gives free access to the competition. All are welcome to join, and the competition is suitable for all ages.
More information about the contest and the day:
Information about visiting Bletchley Park:

Press Release on the House of Lords Select Committee Report on AI


The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB) welcomes the comprehensive report by the House of Lords Select Committee on AI published on 16 April 2018 following a consultation process in the autumn of 2017 to which AISB submitted written evidence. AISB fully supports the key messages conveyed by the principles for an AI Code postulated therein and agrees that AI should be used for the common good and benefit of humanity (Principle 1). AISB would like to emphasise Principle 2 requiring explainable or intelligible AI be made compulsory for AI-based decision support in certain critical areas, as stated in #94 of the report. Principle 5, restricting AI’s autonomous power to hurt, destroy or deceive human beings also finds our full support.

However, some phrases in the principles published as #147 in the report ought to be modified to acknowledge that AI technologies are tools developed by humans. We don’t ‘work alongside AI’, we use AI to achieve certain goals or outcomes, just as with any other human-made tool. Granting AI an independent human-like existence, even through casual use of language, sets us on a dangerous course towards machines becoming moral patients; things to which we owe some moral duty. For example, Principle 2 should be amended to read ‘AI should be designed to operate on principles …’ to clarify that people are responsible for the design and operation of AI systems.

Also, Principles 3 and 4 warrant some comment:

AI cannot legally be used to diminish rights or privacy if applied according to existing or future data protection regulations and other legislation as long as there is human responsibility for the AI. We do not recommend granting any AI human rights (and responsibilities), not least since this will inevitably open up legal loopholes.

A right to education in the sense of Principle 4 needs to be aided by a counterpart stating certain restrictions to AI. A right for humans to receive the education to flourish economically without further explanation is not helpful, since often the use of AI is economically motivated. It is important that humans should use AI-based tools to tackle important problems as efficiently as possible while having been given the skills to enable them to remain economically sustainable individuals. It is important to point out that the possibilities of flourishing mentally, and emotionally refer to human attributes that should not be hindered by any AI tool, nor should education of humans be lessened by any constraints imposed by (the intent to use) artificial intelligence.

Dr Bertie Müller (AISB Chair), 16 April 2018

The Select-Committee report can be found here (HTML): Report of Session 2017-19 – AI in the UK: ready, willing and able? or as PDF: PDF version Report of Session 2017-19 – AI in the UK: ready, willing and able? ( PDF )

Loebner Prize 2015

On 19 September the 25th annual Loebner Prize in Artificial Intelligence was held at Bletchley Park. Dr Bertie Müller, Senior Lecture in Computing at the University of South Wales and Chairman of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB), organised this event with the help of further AISB-Committee members for the second time running. Bertie was interviewed by BBC News (broadcast live at 10:28 on 19 September) from Bletchley Park talking about the competition and how the Turing Test was relevant to us more than 60 years after its first publication. The interview and further BBC coverage was part of the week-long Intelligent Machines season across the BBC TV and radio channels. Throughout the day further coverage of the event was provided by the BBC News channel, Sky News, and CBS.
Some of the BBC coverage of the event is archived here and in related posts.

Furthermore, Bertie is quoted in the New Scientist article entitled “Forget the Turing test – there are better ways of judging AI” suggesting alternatives to the Turing Test as a measure of (machine) intelligence.

None of the chatbots managed to fool any of the judges. The prize for the most human-like machine went to Rose (developed by Bruce Wilcox).


Steve Worswick
Brian Rigsby
Bruce Wilcox
Ken Hurturbise

Jacob Aaron – Physical sciences reporter for New Scientist
Rory Callan – Jones
Technology correspondent for the BBC
Brett Marty
 – Film Director and Photographer
Ariadne Tampion – Independent Writer and Thinker

Paul Beesley
 – Software Engineer at ARM
Emily Jones
 – Admissions registrar at Moorlands School, Leeds
Paul Sobek
 – Software Engineer at Imagination Technologies
Chris Wignall – 
Senior Software Developer at Lotus F1 Team

The Loebner Prize teams up with the AISB and Bletchley Park Museum

A warm welcome in the year of the AISB’s 50th anniversary

It has been an eventful year for the world’s oldest AI society. Interdisciplinary AI has been showcased as a thriving discipline at the hugely successful AISB-50 convention and in the no less successful AISB workshop series. But this is just the AISB’ s everyday business. Two behind-the-scenes events of the ongoing year are promising to have a longer-term effect on AI research and media coverage: A partnership between the AISB and the journal Connection Science published by Taylor and Francis has been arranged in October, and — following the official agreement with Hugh Loebner earlier this year — the decision that AISB would be taking permanent responsibility for running the annual Loebner Prize finals on the premises of Bletchley Park where Alan Turing worked as a code-breaker during World War 2.

We are thrilled that AISB has been chosen to host the longest-running Turing-Test competition started in 1991 and based on Alan Turing’s original conception of the test. Claims in the media that the Turing Test had been passed for the first time this year have left parts of the scientific community unconvinced due to various reasons. The Loebner Prize version of the test offers an established set of rules and even though still in its simpler first stage no submission has managed to pass this stage even 23 years after its inception. Once the it has been passed, the contest will enter a second stage introducing audio/visual components to the conversations. We are looking at some exciting years ahead.

On behalf of the AISB committee, I would like to thank the organisers of this year’s competition, Ed Keedwell and Nir Oren, and would also  like to express my gratitude to everyone who has helped make this event possible, in particular Claire Urwin from Bletchley Park Museum, Paul Sant from the University of Bedfordshire, David Levy, and the judges and confederates who volunteered to dedicate their time to the event … and, of course, many thanks to Hugh Loebner without whose organisational and financial support all this would not be possible.

Bletchley Park, November 2014

Dr Berndt “Bertie” Müller (University of South Wales and AISB Chair)

The Loebner Prize Finals take place at Bletchley Park Museum on Saturday, 15 November 2014