Since 1989 Loebner has spent, by his account, more than $200,000 and a thousand hours of unpaid time to hasten the arrival of intelligent machines. He has set aside a gold medal and $100,000 in cash for the creator of the first machine that can pass for human. In the meantime he gives out annual prizes for programs that come closest to a long-sought holy grail in the artificial intelligence community: passing the Turing test.

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