BetterHumans: It’s not exactly BattleBots, but a tournament taking place at the California Institute of Technology this summer will pit machine against machine in an effort to advance the field of artificial intelligence.

Caltech researchers have announced the “Turing Tournament,” which will see computers able to mimic human behaviour compete against computers able to spot the fakes.

The human behaviour will come in the form of repeated play of two-person games. “Emulators” will try to generate data indistinguishable from human behaviour while “detectors” will try to determine which data is generated by humans and which by machines.

The deadline for submitting competitors is May 31, 2003. Both the winning emulator and the winning detector will earn their creators a cash prize of US$10,000.