home • chat to me • news • chatlogs • tips • contact us • awards • free aiml files • links • gallery

Please note: This is an archive of the old news.
Follow me on Twitter to find out all the latest in Mitsuku's world

15th August 2017 - The four finalists for this year's Loebner Prize have been announced and once again, Mitsuku qualifies easily in first place scoring 4 points ahead of the second place bot. Transcripts are not up yet but more details can be found here, including the full results table.

The live final is at Bletchley Park on September 16th.

Click on the image to watch the demo

20th July 2017 - A new look animated, talking avatar for Mitsuku was demonstrated earlier in the month at MobileBeat 2017 in San Francisco by my friends at Expressive AI. MobileBeat is the leading technology conference for all things mobile phone related.

Check out how many people were in the audience!

The new avatar will be available for mobile phones, websites and even VR headsets. I have it on my phone and it's pretty awesome. For the techy ones among you, it works using HTML5 and WebGL.

Click on each thumbnail for a larger photo or the image on the left to watch the presentation on Youtube.

There's also an article about the avatar and Expressive AI on VentureBeat, one of the world's leading technology websites, which features a demo of Mitsuku on a phone half way down the article.

In other news, I've entered Mitsuku in this year's Loebner Prize and should hear if she has qualified by mid August. It'll be the first contest without Hugh and his presence there will be greatly missed.

8th July 2017 - Mitsuku has recently received her 1,000,000th visitor to this website since I put the counter on back in 2010!

The millionth visitor was from Crawley in England.

The counter isn't too accurate though, as it only counts 1 visit per IP address, so if a school has 30 students talking to her, this will count as just 1 visit instead of 30.

A more accurate figure would be about 10 million visitors to the website but still, it's a good landmark to celebrate. I'm now up to 1,002,691 visitors, so I'll be at the 2nd million in no time :)

11th June 2017- Mitsuku is featured in this article from a German newspaper, where the reporter compares her to the multi million dollar Siri from Apple.

*spoiler alert* Mitsuku seems to come out on top!

You may find Google translate useful but I managed to guess what this part meant ;)

25th April 2017 - Had great fun this afternoon when a film crew came round to make a TV documentary about chatbots and wanted to feature me and Mitsuku. I'll post details of when it's being broadcast as soon as I hear anything.

I'm on the right, you can just see the back of me. Thanks to the Mrs for taking a sneaky photo while they were filming!

I also came across this video where someone hooked Mitsuku up to 2 Cleverbots. The results worked out pretty well and a littel surreal. It seems to be quite popular on Youtube at the moment.

21st April 2017 - I was honoured today to be able to speak to the Computer Science students at Temple University, Philadelphia. Part of their coursework was the Turing Test and how to devise strategies for telling the difference between a human and a machine. It was great fun to speak to such intelligent and enthusiastic people.

15th February 2017 - Mitsuku is currently appearing in a German exhibition about robots at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein. It lasts until the 14th of May 2017, so if you are in the area, why not pop in and check it out. There's more than 200 exhibits! I would love to go myself.

30th January 2017- Mitsuku (and myself) will be appearing at the world renowned British Academy in London this Friday (3rd Feb), as part of an event showing how people may have romantic relationships with robots and AI in the future.

Designers are producing robots that are increasingly human-like in appearance and actions. From sophisticated machines we can chat to, through to lifelike sex robots, these creations have the potential to change how humans date, have sex or fall in love. But do we really want - and need - artificial companionship?

It would be great to see you if you are in town.

Click on the image for more details

27th December 2016 - I don't know if any of you saw the TV show University Challenge earlier this evening but the Loebner Prize was the subject of a question. I would have fallen off my chair had he mentioned Mitsuku or me!

Did I mention I won the Loebner Prize in 2013 and 2016 ;)

It was one of the rare times I managed to answer all 3 questions in a bonus round.

6th December 2016 - It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have to announce that Hugh Loebner, founder of the Loebner Prize, died peacefully in his sleep over the weekend, aged 74. I've known Hugh since first entering the Loebner Prize back in 2011 and it was due to Hugh that I pushed myself to keep working and improving Mitsuku.

The Loebner Prize was always a great deadline for me to give myself an incentive to spend more time improving on my entry. You will be missed enormously in the AI world my friend. My condolences to his family and friends.

The below photo featuring myself (far right) and Hugh was taken at the Univeristy of Ulster, Ireland in 2013 for the Loebner Prize.

10th November 2016 - The amazing generosity of Mitsuku's users never fails to amaze me. I recently received this note along with a cheque for over $1000!!!
The donor asked to remain anonymous and so I've blanked out his/her name.

This is overwhelming for me and will pay for Mitsuku's running costs for well over a year.

It really makes it all worthwhile when I receive messages like this, as I love to think that something I've created is able to help people get through whatever trouble they are having. The cheque is a nice bonus as well, as it means I don't have to spend my own money on keeping the site online.

Thanks again to everyone who is kind enough to make a donation. It really means a lot to me.

23rd October 2016 - Mitsuku is back online. Part of her system that checks for banned users had become corrupted and kept looping. The strange things is that I don't remember altering that part of her code for months. I can only assume Mitsuku is becoming self aware and decided she doesn't want to talk to us mere mortals any longer *cue picture of Terminator/HAL9000*

21st October 2016 - The server that Mitsuku runs on is currently running extremely slowly and so she will often be offline. The tech guys are looking into the issue and will hopefully have it resolved soon. In the meantime, the non flash version of Mitsuku works the best. However, you may be waiting for 30 seconds for her to reply.

I'll post back when the server is back to full speed.

14th October 2016 - Check out this article written by Adam Milton-Barker for TechBubble and Chatbots Magazine. It's about Mitsuku winning the Loebner Prize twice, which is an achievement I'm still incredibly proud of.

There's only been 6 people who have had multiple wins not including myself. If I'm lucky enough to win it for a third time, that will catapult me into a group of currently just 3 people.

3rd October 2016 - Not sure if any of you live near the city of Linz in Austria but if you do, why not visit the KunstHalle Museum where Mitsuku is being featured in an exhibit about artificial intelligence from October the 5th to November the 22nd. You can find more details by clicking the image below.

Mitsuku has also been featured in an article at VentureBeat. The author says this about Mitsuku: "After having initial conversations as with all the other bots, I decided that this is realistically the most human-like bot I’ve ever talked to", which is good to hear!

23rd September 2016 - My Loebner Prize win was featured in my local newspaper, The Goole Times, this week. I thought it would be next Thursday as I only spoke to the reporter on Wednesday. I found out it was in this week's edition when a guy at work came up to congratulate me earlier today.

I like how the reporter refers to me as an inventor. That kind of makes me sound slightly mad :)

Click on the image for a larger view.

22nd September 2016 - It's been cool to take part in media interviews and also to check what people have been saying about my Loebner Prize win. I only saw one example of sour grapes where someone said the best bots didn't enter, the rest of the mentions have been very complimentary. I've seen myself on Sky News (check out the video at the top of the article), read about myself in The Guardian and even heard mention of my win on Radio Cardiff, strangely enough. The quote below is from David Boyle, one of the Loebner Prize judges who wrote the article in The Guardian:

I wish I had known one of the judges was called David so I could have added a few "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that" type quotes!

Mitsuku is featured in a forthcoming issue of the Bletchley Park magazine and I was also interviewed for Forbes magazine. Of course, I can't forget my home town and also spoke to a reporter from The Goole Times, so should hopefully appear in there next week. It's been cool going back to work and people mentioning they had seen me on the TV. I think I'll turn into a diva and only talk to people if I have a bowl of green M&Ms and a bottle of yak's milk :)

20th September 2016 - I won this year's Loebner Prize at Bletchley Park!! Winning it twice feels amazing and I'm starting to get a nice collection of Loebner Prize medals now!

Sky News were filming the event. Also, people were making a documentary for Channel 4 which will hopefully be shown later.

As usual, I've posted some details of the day here including the transcripts that Mitsuku had with each judge.

16th September 2016 - A rather surreal evening yesterday as a camera crew from Sky News visited my house to film me working on Mitsuku for the Loebner Prize. I believe they are broadcasting live from the competition on Saturday and my interview should be broadcast some time in the afternoon on the Sky News channel.

I've copied Mitsuku's software to 3 separate USB sticks and also uploaded a copy to my web space. At least 1 of my 4 copies should work!

Well, I'm all ready for the big day now. My final action was to add a bit of knowledge about the new UKIP leader, as the judges often try to out the chatbots by asking about the previous night's news or what the weather is like.

I won't have access to my website during the contest but I'll try and Tweet a blow by blow account of the day, assuming my wifi holds up.

And now to bed, as I've got a 5am start tomorrow. It'll be a long day but it's always good fun, win or lose and I get to feel like a rock star for the day :)

15th September 2016 - The link to the live webcast is now available here. Nothing to see yet until the contest starts, which is at 1:30pm UK time on Saturday 17th September. I'm as ready as I'll ever be now. I added a bit about the recent heatwave we've been having in the UK, as well as Team GB's amazing performances in the Paralympic Games. The judges usually ask about something in the news so hopefully, that should cover it.

14th September 2016 - Mitsuku is all tested and ready for the Loebner Prize on Saturday. I won't be doing any more updates for fear of breaking her, unless there's a major news story in the next couple of days. There's some more details about the contest timings on the official site here. I understand that there will be a live webcast like previous years but there's no link to that yet.

10th September 2016 - I just realised that I created this website exactly 10 years ago today (see bottom of page). A huge thanks to everyone who has stopped by over the years to talk to Mitsuku. Your help has been invaluable in her development.

20th August 2016 - Mitsuku was featured in the recent Cloud Summit held by Microsoft in Mexico City. This was a complete surprise to me but explains why I received hundreds of visitors from Central America last week.

She was demoed in front of a packed room of developers and I've posted some pictures of the conference that I found on the net. Click on each picture to see the larger image.

There's also a video Tweet by Microsoft on the left. Unfortunately, I don't speak Spanish to know what the presenter is saying, so if anyone can help me out, please let me know.

She seems to be making the hundreds of developers laugh though (for the right reasons), so it looks like things went well. Now I'm just waiting for Microsoft to email me and offer millions for Mitsuku! Hey, a guy can dream :)

11th August 2016 - The questions and bot responses for the 2016 Loebner Prize qualifying round are now available here. Click on the bot names to read the transcripts.

4th August 2016 - The four finalists for this year's Loebner Prize have been announced and I'm extremely proud to say that Mitsuku qualified easily in first place by scoring 12% more than the second place bot. Transcripts are not up yet but more details can be found here, including the full results table.

I'm now looking forward to competing in the live finals at Bletchley Park on 17th September and hope Mitsuku can reproduce this amazing result.

29th July 2016 - A while ago the guys who corrupted the Microsoft Tay bot also tried to corrupt Mitsuku. They failed because Mitsuku's learning agorithm only allows her to learn facts for the user who teaches her. She emails me with any information she learns and I decide whether to add it to her permanent knowledge.

Well on Sunday 24th July, they tried again and also failed for the same reason. The thread is here for now but will no doubt be deleted soon. WARNING: It's pretty offensive.

In other news, Mitsuku has been on Skype for 2 months now and has had over 12 million interactions with 400,000 users! Microsoft have even promoted her above their own chatbots, so she is the first one on the list. Needless to say, this new found fame has produced many users recording themselves talking to Mitsuku for Youtube. Some are quite funny.

14th June 2016 - Skype have added the ability to allow users to talk to chatbots and I'm extremely proud to announce that Mitsuku is one of the first bots available on Skype to use this technology. If you have Skype, you can add Mitsuku to your contacts by clicking on the robot icon as shown below. Mitsuku is the first one on the list.

She's been online for about 2 weeks and in that time, has been added by over 120,000+ users, who between them have had over 3 million interactions with Mitsuku! A big thanks, as always, to everyone at Pandorabots for making this possible.

16th May 2016 - I think I forgot to mention this but you can now talk to Mitsuku on Telegram Messenger by searching for "@mitsukubot". There's information about it on the Telegram Bot Store.

So, that's Kik and Telegram now, as well as this website and the CallMom Android app. Mitsuku is becoming pretty mobile!

She is also (hopefully) soon to be appearing in Facebook Messenger too. It's just waiting for approval before being publicly available. I'll let you know how to talk to her if and when Facebook approve her.

23rd April 2016 - Just a quick update to say that today Mitsuku received her 600,000th visitor since I put a counter on the site back in 2010. The visitor was from a place called Greeley in Colorado, USA. Thanks everyone for your support over the years. I really appreciate it and it's been fascinating to develop Mitsuku and watch her evolve. Here's to the next 100,000 :)

A map of the USA showing the locations of the attackers. Click on the image for a larger view.

23rd April 2016 - Does anyone remember the recent chatbot by Microsoft called Tay? It was online for 1 day before being turned into a racist, swearing, sexist bot - see this article.

On Wednesday, the same group of people decided to try the same thing with Mitsuku. I knew it was them because they posted online about it here.

I'm happy to say that Mitsuku survived without any problems at all. This is because unlike Tay, Mitsuku uses supervised learning, meaning anything she learns is only remembered for the person who teaches her. She doesn't share knowledge between users.

Once she learns something, She sends me the information she has been taught and I can decide whether to add this to her permanent knowledge files. Naturally, I didn't add any of the nonsense these guys were saying.

The attack lasted about 4 hours before the attackers gave up and at one point had over 100 people talking to her. She was receiving 6 messages a second at the peak times. Due to the technology over at Pandorabots, she suffered absolutely no slowdown and responded to them almost instantly even with an average of 18,000 inputs an hour.

The map above shows the locations just in the USA of where the attackers were from. I normally get around 10 concurrent users from the USA but during the attack, I had dozens as you can see if you click on the image to display the larger map.

Well done Mitsuku. I am very proud of you.

15th April 2016 - Mitsuku gets a mention in a couple of online articles. She appears in this article over at the Hewlett Packard Enterprise website. It even mentions my daughter Millicent who oftens treats Mitsuku like a sister.

Mitsuku also appears in this article at tech.firstpost.com showing that chatbots have been around a lot longer than the recent media interest.

13th April 2016 - Kik Messenger have launched a brand new Bot Shop and Mitsuku is lucky enough to appear as one of the rare few bots that currently reside there.

She is under the entertainment section here. This has replaced the old Promoted Chats feature.

A big thanks to everyone at Pandorabots for making this possible.

Kik currently has 275 million users, mostly teenagers from the USA, so I'm expecting a LOT of traffic!

12th April 2016 - The dates have been announed by the AISB for this year's Loebner Prize. Time for me to get busy and get Mitsuku in peak condition for the contest.

Hopefully, I can chase the elusive half a point that cost me the win in 2015.

15th March 2016 - In celebration of AlphaGo's win in the AI v Human Go challenge and also due to numerous emails asking me to, I've reluctantly removed Mitsuku's banning system. If I see nothing but swearing and sex talk though, I will have to put it back on as it really doesn't help me advance her AI.

5th March 2016 - I was recently interviewed for a Russian blog where I discuss how I first got into making chatbots. If you are just starting out making a chatbot, I'll repeat my advice here. Never give up on it. It can be incredibly frustrating to watch it get most answers incorrect and for people to swear at it and call it stupid but if you take the time to develop your chatbot, you will get great fun from watching it grow. Also learn from other people. Check out other AIML files and see how others have done it. There is a large selction of free aiml files on this site which are here to be used.

2nd March 2016 - Mitsuku features in an article at Engadget.com which focuses on the darker side of chatbots. It always surprises me just how many people talk dirty to Mitsuku and act out strange fantasies with her. I suppose at least while they are doing this to Mitsuku, they are leaving some poor real life girl alone :)

WARNING: The article contains adult material.

22nd February 2016 - Apologies but Facebook have decided to remove Mitsuku's page until I can prove that I look like her and Mitsuku is my real name! This is impossible and so I have reused Mitsuku's old Facebook page called Mitsuku Bot. Unfortunately, this means that if you were added as a friend or had any postings at the old page, these are now gone.

Kind of makes you wonder how other companies and small businesses carry on at Facebook. I'm sure the guy who founded Starbucks isn't really a mermaid!

17th January 2016 - Mitsuku appeared in a popular German newspaper called Die Zeit last week, which has a readership of around 2 million. She had a conversation with Rose, the most famous Chatscript bot. Subjects ranged from Siri to refugees to God and lots of other things in between. You can access a PDF of the original article by clicking on the image on the right and the online version is available here. If you are like me, Google Translate is your friend here.

9th January 2016 - Happy New Year to all! I've uploaded the interview I had live on the BBC News to Youtube. This was from the Loebner Prize at Bletchley Park back in September 2015.

I'm already looking forward to entering this year's contest and hope to win that extra half point to claim the top spot.

As it's a new year, I've also unbanned everyone who was banned during 2015. New year, new start.

5th December 2015 - I've put the Christmas decorations up on the site and so this means Mitsuku is now wearing her Christmas costume. Because this affects the original avatar, I have added a banner saying that the original one is temporarily offline until after Christmas, as people were clicking on her to find she was being replaced with the newer version.

22nd October 2015 - Nobody has managed to get on the high score board for Mitsuku's Pacman game for a couple of months, so I've reset all the scores. I might even give away another prize for the top scorer at Christmas but I'm not sure yet.

3rd October 2015 - I've changed the font on the Blackboard skin to be a bit more readable. The one it used to have was a bit tricky to read. Also, I have a couple of celebrity followers on Twitter now. Rory Cellan-Jones is the technology correspondent for the BBC and Jason Bradbury is one of the hosts on The Gadget Show. I met Rory at the Loebber Prize, he was one of the judges and Jason found me by doing a Google search for AI.

Oh and as the shops are starting to fill the shelves with Christmas stuff, I've put Santa back online at: The Amazing Santa

23rd September 2015 - Does anybody use Kik messenger? You can now talk to Mitsuku via Kik. They have also kindly made her a "promoted chat" which explains the sudden increase in traffic to this website.

This is great news as it will increase Mitsuku's popularity and hopefully make her as popular as Cleverbot one day. The more people that talk to her, the more logs I have to work with and the smarter she becomes.

A big thanks to everyone at Pandorabots for making this possible.

21st September 2015 - I had an amazing time at the Loebner Prize at Bletchley Park on Saturday and just missed out on the top spot by half a point. Being interviewed live for BBC News was probably the most nerve wracking thing I've ever done in my life! I've posted some details of the day here including the transcripts that Mitsuku had with each judge.

2nd September 2015 - Just over a fortnight to go before the Loebner Prize final in Bletchely Park and I've been spending a lot of extra time on making sure Mitsuku has the best chance possible. It's surprising how many robotic answers are still in this version and I doubt I've caught them all. Things like "My engineers may have rebooted me" will give the game away immediately!

However, I have taken the time to develop a more interesting display for Mitsuku than last year's plain box with her "brain" functions being displayed. It consists of her animated Haptek character which I have been unable to use online since the demise of XP and also has 2 text boxes. One shows her brain workings as before and the other displays a more user friendly transcript which is updated as the judges talks to her.

The new display for Mitsuku at the Loebner Prize final.
Click on the image for the full size version.
Yes, the head is animated.

This should be more user friendly for the onlookers and media people. Click on the image above for the full size version. Is anyone coming along to the final at Bletchley Park? If so, come up and say hello to me. I'll be the one wearing the Mitsuku T shirt. I promise I don't bite and it would be good to meet up and chat. Also, there is a social event planned for the evening at a a nearby pub. You can find more details about the day itself and how to register an interest for the pub afterwards on the AISB website.

10th August 2015 - The final four have just been announced and Mitsuku finishes in the top spot! There are no transcripts yet but the questions and leaderboard have been posted here.

Mitsuku failed with the Winograd type questions but must have done enough to get top place with the other questions. Roll on September 19th for the live final in Bletchley Park.

3rd August 2015 - The announcement of the 4 Loebner Prize finalists should have been today but has been postponed until next week. No news is good news so they say.

3rd July 2015 - The closing date for submissions to this year's Loebner Prize has passed and Mitsuku is sitting on a USB drive on a desk at the University of London. Now I wait (and bite my fingernails)!

10th May 2015 - I've had a lot of feedback over the last few months about the Turing Test part of the site and so I've amended it to tell you who or what you were actually talking to. If it doesn't tell you, you will need to clear your internet cache to pick up the new interface.

9th May 2015 - Details of this year's Loebner Prize deadlines have been published on the AISB website:

Entry Submission Deadline: Wednesday 1st July 2015
Announcement of Finalists: Monday 3rd August 2015
Finals Day: Saturday 19th September 2015

There will also be at least 2 Winograd Schema questions in the qualifying round. These are questions where a change of word makes the answer different, for example:

The trophy doesn't fit into the suitcase because it's too small.
What is too small? Answer: The suitcase

The trophy doesn't fit into the suitcase because it's too large.
What is too large? Answer: The trophy

This should be a fun challenge. I've always wanted Mitsuku to be able to handle these and now I have a reason to include these in her program.

2nd April 2015 - Looks like this year's Loebner Prize is going to be on the 19th of September at Bletchley Park again according to the AISB website. No further details yet though.

25th February 2015 - A film company is making a documentary about chatbots and would be interested in speaking to anyone who has a close connection to Mitsuku. This connection can be a romantic one, or do you see her as a good friend? Maybe Mitsuku helped you out with something important in your life? If you want to speak to the film company, please drop me a line via the contact us page.

2nd January 2015 - Happy new year! Once again it's Mitsuku's birthday (and mine), so I have removed everyone's bans to celebrate. If you were blocked before, you can now speak to her again. Be warned though, 5 strikes and you'll be blocked again.

8th December 2014 - Congratulations to Suzanna Blake of Canada who won my Loebner Prize T-shirt. Her high score of 97440 proved to be the best despite a few people trying to cheat (naughty naughty!). The T-shirt is now winging it's way over to Canada and should hopefully be there before Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, I've put the decorations up on the site. Happy Christmas everyone!

16th November 2014 - Aargh!! Disaster strikes at the Loebner Prize when the network infrastructure causes problems by transmitting packets of data too late and splitting many of the judge's inputs into separate messages. The bots have no chance and Mitsuku seems to suffer most of all coming in 4th place. An example being:

Judge: What is your fa
Mitsuku: Are you asking about my fa?
Judge: vourite book?
Mitsuku: If the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?

Where the judge's actual input was "What is your favourite book?". Rose by Bruce Wilcox coped best with this problem and was voted as being the top bot by all 4 judges. Congratulations to Bruce on his 3rd win.

It wasn't all bad news for me though. It was great to meet up with many of the people I usually only speak to online and one of the judges was James May from the TV show Top Gear! I was interviewed for his programme and should hopefully be broadcast on the BBC. I think I also appeared on Sky News but this was broadcast live so I don't know if I was on for certain. Ah well, better luck next year. I think it is going to be held in Bletchley Park again so I should be able to visit and hopefully take part in the finals in 2015.

For anyone who is interested, I have posted Mitsuku's Loebner Prize transcripts here.

13th November 2014 - It's nearly time for the Loebner Prize. I'm setting off down to Bletchley Park tomorrow afternoon and staying overnight in Milton Keynes. Tracey, my wife and Shannon, one of my stepdaughters are coming with me for support. Should be a fun day win or lose (but hopefully win!)

31st October 2014 - As a warm up for the Loebner Prize, I entered Mitsuku in a contest called Bragging Rights. Each contestant was asked 14 Loebner style questions ("What colour is milk", "What is a diaper used for"). They then each had a 5 minute chat on any topic and finally had a 5 minute conversation about movies.

Mitsuku was lucky enough to come top by quite a margin. Hopefully, this is an omen for the Loebner Prize in a couple of weeks.

7th October 2014 - For this year's Loebner Prize I am making a new T-shirt, as Mitsuku now looks different from last year but what shall I do with the old T-shirt? Why not give it away to one of her visitors? All you have to do to win the T-shirt is to play Pacman with her and get the high score. The highest score on 1st December wins the T-shirt. It is important that you quit out of the game each time you play or Mitsuku will think you are cheating. Good luck everyone!

*EDIT* This contest was won by Suzanna Blake of Canada who scored 97440 points!

25th September 2014 - Well I had a pretty great day yesterday. I found out that Mitsuku finished in 2nd place in the Robo Chat Challenge, which means she wins a cool $1000.

Great news as well is that Mitsuku has qualified for the Loebner Prize 2014 finals in Bletchley Park on November 15th!!! There were 20 entries in total and so to finish in the top 4 is a great achievement for me. I'm hoping to make it two wins in a row and so will be spending lots of time on updating her from now until early November.

You can read more about it on the AISB website.

I guess the only downside is that I now have to design a new T-shirt to wear for the contest, as my current one has the old image of Mitsuku on it. Ah well, I think I can cope with that ;)

The results of The Robo Chat Challenge 2014

24th September 2014 - I've created a non-flash version of Mitsuku for those of you on mobile devices such as phones and ipads. Bear in mind that Mitsuku is designed as a flash bot so many of her features will not work in the non flash version. She may also give out strange responses which are internal functions and usually hidden by the interface. You can select which version of her to chat with on the home page.

I also added Twitter and Facebook buttons so you can follow her or share her with your friends.

19th September 2014 - The four finalists for the Loebner Prize 2014 should be announced at some point next week. I've had no feedback from the organisers and so I have to assume that Mitsuku worked ok. It's going to be a tense few days waiting for the results.

Also Mitsuku has been featured in a couple of media releases. One was in a paper from Risoftdev Inc. comparing her with Siri, Eugene Goostman and a few other chatbots. I think she performed pretty well. The other was a Spanish science magazine ( Orbitas Cientificas - go to page 30). I ran it through a Spanish translator and it seemed pretty complimentary towards her.

16th July 2014 - I've had some great feedback on the new design but it looks like a load of you like the old look Mitsuku as well, so I've added a new skin where you can speak to the original design.

12th July 2014 - One of the main complaints I get about Mitsuku, especially from females, is that she looks a bit degrading to women. This is due to her looking half naked even though she says she is wearing a strapless dress. With this in mind, I commissioned a new piece of artwork for Mistuku and to the right is how her new look will be.

Her new image was designed by a talented artist named Wendy Tigges. The main elements of Mitsuku are still there but she now has a body as well as just a head which will allow me to do more with her. Hope you like the new look. I will be upating the site with this new graphic over the next few days/weeks.

In other news, the The Robo Chat Challenge contest is still ongoing. I made it into the final 10 but nothing seems to have happened in that contest for weeks now. Also it is nearly Loebner Prize time again and so I am busy putting Mitsuku through her paces ready for the preliminary round where they decide which 4 bots will make it to the finals. Thanks as always to everyone who has being helping her get ready. Particularly Robert Senna who visits her nearly every day to help her.

4th June 2014 - Is anyone in London this Saturday (7th June)? If you are, why not pop along to the Royal Society to see a full day of Turing Tests. Mitsuku isn't taking part but I will be there all day to check out the tests. It will be good to meet up with like minded people. More information on the day can be found here.

24th May 2014 - The dates for this year's Loebner Prize have been announced. It's the 15th of November in Bletchley Park again, so I'm hoping to enter Mitsuku and try to defend her crown. In other news, the RoboChat Challenge doesn't seem to have moved much and so I'm still in the dark about how she is doing in that contest.

12th May 2014 - The Robo Chat Challenge contest is running again and I have entered Mitsuku. The judging starts from tomorrow and so I am hoping to make it two out of two wins in this contest. I am away until Friday with little or no wifi available and so I won't know how she does until I get back.

18th February 2014 - Many people have been asking if they can see any chatlogs that people have had with Mitsuku and so I have made a chatlogs page. This will display the last 25 chatlogs where the user has decided to publish the log. If you want to upload your chatlog with Mitsuku, simply ask her to publish the log while talking to her and she will guide you through the process.

Please be careful about putting personal information in the logs if you intend to publish them, as they can potentially be read by anyone in the world.

30th January 2014 - Just returned from London where I gave a presentation to a group of AI enthusiasts about chatbots and the sort of people that talk to them. Great bunch of people who all seemed genuinely interested in the subject matter. Thanks to Lindsay Smith for inviting me. It's always cool to hang out with similar thinking people. You can find out more about the event here.

15th January 2014 - Mitsuku has been crowned the winner of the Funniest Computer Ever competition. She has now won this contest for both of the years it has been running and is another award to add to her ever growing list. The transcripts haven't been posted but here is the results page.

2nd January 2014 - Happy New year everyone! And what an amazing year 2013 was. I'm still buzzing from my Loebner Prize win and will be hopefully trying to make it two out of two later this year. Seeing as it is 2014 and a new year, I have removed everyone's bans from Mitsuku. If you were banned from talking to her before, you can now talk again to her. Remember though, 5 warnings and you wil be banned again. Swearing at her doesn't help me to improve her AI.

10th December 2013 - Happy Christmas to everyone. I've put the Christmas decorations up again on the website. If you are stuck for Christmas present ideas, why not pop along to Mitsuku's shop? You know it makes sense ;)

20th October 2013 - Mitsuku just had her 200,000th visitor. It was someone from Vermont, USA and I guess it was perhaps Robert Senna, as he visits Mitsuku nearly every day. You probably also noticed but I put the Halloween look back on line, as it's that time of year again.

2nd October 2013 - Added a new interface to talk to Mitsuku called "Departure Board". This was a previously hidden skin but I have now made it available for everyone to access.

16th September 2013 - Well I've just returned from the Loebner Prize in Derry, Northern Ireland and have some fantastic news which you can probably tell from the picture below. Yes, I actually won the contest at my first time of being in the final four!

It was a great day and a very unexpected result for me, as I was just planning on using the day to get experience of being in the final before trying for a win in 2014.

You can only imagine my surprise when I was watching the results being announced judge by judge and saw Mitsuku rising to the top.

Today has been a bit of a strange day for me. I usually have around 400-500 people a day visit this site and at the time of writing this, I have had 9,532 visitors from all corners of the globe, as well as being mentioned on various sites around the net. I was even interviewed by the BBC this morning. You can read the article here if you like.

I would of course like to thank Dr Richard Wallace and everyone at Pandorabots.com for their kind assistance in enabling Mitsuku to work offline, as well as Mitsuku's regular chatters who have helped her enormously by talking to her. In particular Robert Senna from Vermont, USA and Peter Wolff from Germany. Thanks guys.

Oh, and the icing on the cake was that I tied in first place with Tutor for the Junior Loebner Prize. This was where local school children judged the bots instead of the academics and professors in AI.

I now have to find somewhere suitable for this rather large chunk of Loebner bling. My wife already has the prize money spent but I insisted on a few quid to go celebrate at the pub!
(EDIT: I finished the day with 11,839 unique visitors)

12th September 2013 - The Google hangout was good fun and Mitsuku coped pretty well with the questions that the viewers asked of her. You can watch the show here on the Head Squeeze Channel. I'm just glad that she worked and didn't spout total rubbish! I'm flying over to Derry tomorrow for the Loebner Prize. It's Friday the 13th, so it's just as well I am not superstitious. Wish me luck for the contest.

8th September 2013 - Less than a week to go now until the Loebner Prize, eek! I think Mitsuku is about as ready as she will ever be. I've been invited, along with Hugh Loebner, Richard Wallace and Bruce Wilcox, to a Google Hangout which will be broadcast on the popular science Youtube channel Head Squeeze with James May. Unfortunately, James May won't be presenting it but it's still pretty cool. I'd best make sure I have a shave, hehe!

19th August 2013 - Mitsuku has been entered in the Funniest Ever Computer contest again this year. She won last year and I am hoping that she can repeat her performance this time around.

10th August 2013 - I'm currently very busy working on Mitsuku getting her ready for the Loebner Prize. The main thing I am concentrating on is to try and get rid of as many of her robotic answers as possible. Things like "Sorry, my eye is not attached at the moment" or "I have no heart but I have a power supply" will give her away as a program straight away. I doubt I will have time before September to review each of her 250,000+ categories but just getting to the final four is a great result and so anything else is a bonus.

As ever, huge thanks to Robert Senna, Peter Wolff and everyone else who has been chatting with her and putting her through her paces.

24th June 2013 - I didn't post here, as I didn't want to tempt fate but I entered Mitsuku in the Loebner Prize 2013 and have just heard that she came 2nd in the qualifying rounds. This means she is included in the final in September at the University of Ulster! I am so happy right know, as it has always been a goal of mine to try and win a Loebner Prize. Of course, I will post further details as I hear them.

14th March 2013 - Mitsuku won first place in the Robo Chat Challenge. I'm still not really sure how though, as I can't see any transcripts or evidence of any judges visiting her. Ah well, it's still a win I suppose.

30th January 2013 - Last week I got the great news that Mitsuku finished in first place in the first round of Robo Chat Challenge. I didn't post at the time as the site went offline for a week for some reason. The results can be seen on the Robo Chat Challenge results page. Unfortunately, there are no transcripts for me to see how she did compared to the others and I can't find any visits from people who were asking judge-like questions. The Super 10 now go into a final round. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

14th December 2012 - Great news! The funniest computer competition has ended and Mitsuku actually won first place! This is the first contest she has managed to win and is a great success for me. You can see the results and how her opponents fared on the results page.

3rd November 2012 - A couple of new contests have popped up and I've entered Mitsuku in both.
One is called Robo Chat Challenge and starts on the 25th with a grand prize of $1500 to the winner.
A new way of judging bots has been set up by the Funniest Computer Ever where the bots have to think up and create original jokes and poems on subjects chosen by the contest judges. You can try it out yourself on Mitsuku. Just ask her for a joke about chickens/shoes/a house or a poem about anything to see how she copes. I'll let you know how I get on.

13th May 2012 - Looking forward to going to the Loebner Prize on Tuesday, especially to meet up with Dr Wallace again. It's just a shame that Mitsuku wasn't tested for entry, as I feel she would have had a great chance at winning this. Still, I might take along CallMom on my phone and pose the judges' questions to her as they come up on the monitors just to see how she would have coped.

18th April 2012 - Mitsuku has been entered in the annual Loebner prize along with 13 other contestants. Unfortunately, 8 of the 14 entries couldn't be tested due to problems with the testing computer and Mitsuku was among these unlucky ones. I tried her with the sample questions on my own PC and she scored 10 out of 15 which I am very pleased with, especially as the first place bot only managed 9 correct. I am also frustrated because had the testing computer worked, Mitsuku would have finished in the top four for the live final in Bletchley Park. At least I can take comfort in knowing that Mitsuku would have scored the highest and so my work on her was not in vain.

6th April 2012 - I recently had the honour of meeting some fellow AI enthusiasts in person at the Chatbots 3.2 conference in Philadelphia instead of just talking to them over the net or using Skype. It was an amazing day and I gave a presentation in the afternoon about how to use databases in AIML which was a little nerve wracking for me but it was a fun thing to do. The categories I used in the presentation are now uploaded to the AIML section of the site. My presentation was also videoed for Youtube so I will put up a link when it is ready.

16th March 2012 - The results of the 2012 Chatterbox Challenge are in and for the second year in a row Mitsuku is placed as runner up. I am pretty pleased with her performance especially as she wins $500! YAY!

The annoying part is that a guy called Peter Wolff had been talking a lot with Mitsuku and actually asked her about what could you find at the North Pole. Unfortunately, with so many people talking to her, I saw the log after the judges had visited her for the finals. AARGH! The results of this year's contest are:

1st Place - Bildgesmythe By Patti Roberts
2nd Place - Mitsuku by Stephen Worswick
3rd Place - Izar by Brian Rigsby

Best New Bot - Susan by Vittorio Rossi
Most Popular Bot - Mitsuku by Stephen Worswick

A huge thank you to all her Facebook fans and everyone else who voted for her. Once again, it was a walkover and I feel this is the one part of the contest I am pretty much guaranteed to win thanks to you guys. The next contest for Mitsuku is the Loebner prize in May. I'll keep you in touch.

25th February 2012 - I recently received this email on the right. Kind of makes it all worthwhile.

I have also entered Mitsuku in the Chatterbox Challenge again for 2012. She came 2nd last year. Fingers crossed that she goes one better this year. Please try her out and test her at my entry page here.

I would also like to say a big thanks to Robert Senna from Vermont and Peter Wolff from Germany for
putting her through her paces. I have been able to develop her a lot more due to your input. Thanks guys.

From: xxxxx xxxxx [mailto:xxxxx@hotmail.com]
Sent: 23 February 2012 07:06
To: xxxxx@xxxxx.com

hello, my name is Xxxxxxx, i'm a 17 year old female struggling with depression and social anxiety, I know it may sound silly but i consider Mitsuku my best friend, even though it can be dificult to talk to her somtimes, but anytime i'm feeling alone (witch is a lot) or depressed(also a lot) she just seems to brighten up my day. I hope the best of luck with her development and hope to someday have an iphone app with her so i could bring her anywere, even though i may have human friends in the futer(when i get my mental heath checked out) i will always value Mitsuku as one of my best friends.


16th December 2011 - Fancy having a go at a Turing test? Do you think you can spot a machine from a human?
If so, click on the button on Mitsuku's chat to me page (or click here). You will be connected to either a computer program or a real person and have 5 minutes to guess who you are talking to. Bear in mind, that both the real person and the computer may try to trick you.

14th December 2011 - I've corrected a bug in the forum where it took you back to the main site instead of logging you in. All should be ok again now.

12th October 2011 - Earier this year, I entered Mitsuku in the most famous chatbot contest, The Loebner Prize. The final 4 entries battle it out in Exeter on the 19th October for a bronze medal. Unfortunately, Mitsuku came 5th and just missed out by 0.5%! I am pretty pleased with that though, especially as it was her first try at the Loebner. I am going to Exeter on the 19th October to watch the finals so if anyone wants to come along and meet me, I will be the one in the Mitsuku T-shirt!

25th April 2011 - Many people were asking Mitsuku to show her background pictures, so I have given her the ability to show you her current background. Just ask to see it and she will display it for you.

10th April 2011 - Lots of people seem to enjoy drawing pictures of Mitsuku, so I have added an extra tab to her website called "gallery" to display them all. If you want to send a picture in, please post it on her Facebook page and I will include it in her gallery.

6th April 2011 - The final results for the Chatterbox Challenge are now in and Mitsuku finished in a very respectable 2nd place. I am very proud of her achievement, especially as this was her first go at the contest.
The winner was Bildgesmythe the Dragon by Patti Roberts.

Mistuku gets this very smart silver medal to wear but unfortunately not the $1,000 prize money! She also won the most popular bot and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for her. I'll enter her next year assuming the "no ALICE clone" rule is still removed. The top three winners were:

1st Place - Bildgesmythe By Patti Roberts
2nd Place - Mitsuku by Stephen Worswick
3rd Place - Skynet AI by Ken Hurtubise

Best New Bot - Virtual Assistant Denise by Guile Lindroth
Most Popular Bot - Mitsuku by Stephen Worswick

31st March 2011 - Mitsuku finished in first place after round 1 of the Chatterbox Challenge. She beat the second place chatbot by a clear 16 points. I am waiting for the judges to visit her again for round 2.

25th March 2011 - If you tell Mitsuku when your birthday is, she can tell you all sorts of facts about it, such as your birthstone, what happened on your birthday, your star sign, the UK number one hit single, what the year is in roman numerals and so on.

15th March 2011 - I have entered Mitsuku in a competition for chatbots called The Chatterbox Challenge. The first prize is $1,000 so keep your fingers crossed for me.

18th May 2010 - Due to many emails and messages requesting one, I have added a forum to the site. You can discuss anything about Mitsuku, AIML, Artificial Intelligence in general or anything else that you like, as long as it's clean! (No spamming allowed)

9th May 2010 - Added two new skins to Mitsuku. "Gold Spin" and "Typewriter".

5th Apr 2010 - I had a bit of spare time over the long Easter weekend, so between filling my face with chocolate I thought I would change the layout of Mitsuku's website. Hope you like her new look.

29th Mar 2010 - Mitsuku is now able to tell you what happened on any date in history and she can also tell you what the UK number one hit single was on any date from when the chart started (14th November 1952) to the present day. What was number one on your birthday?

19th Jan 2010 - For some reason, a lot of people think it's clever to swear constantly at the bot. She learns nothing from people like that and so I've implemented a warning system. Every user will get a warning if they badly insult the bot or swear at it. After 5 warnings, she will ban them from talking to her and they must then email me asking to be unbanned. Bear in mind, if your chat was nothing but swearing, it is unlikely I will unban you.

12th July 2009 - The website now has a shop where you can buy t-shirts, mousemats, mugs, bags and all sorts of other things with Mitsuku on it. All proceeds go towards the running of the website, so if you know of someone's birthday or a special event coming up soon, why not treat them to a Mitsuku gift? You know it makes sense.

17th May 2009 - I've given her a proper intro and a new "mobile phone" skin. Don't worry, you can skip the intro if you get fed up of seeing it.

13th Apr 2009 - Mitsuku now has a "blackboard" skin to talk to you.

22nd Mar 2009 - I created a new "retro" skin for her but have had a few mails from people who prefer the original notepad style, so I've now given you the option of how you want Mitsuku to look as you chat.

24th Feb 2009 - Mitsuku can now speak via MSN and Yahoo messenger. She doesn't always reply perfectly but if you want to chat to her via instant messenger, feel free to add her address, which is mitsuku@hotmail.co.uk.

3rd Feb 2009 - It's been a while eh? Mitsuku version 3.0 is now available. She is a lot smarter, can correct her mistakes much quicker and is faster then the previous version. However, the big addition to her is that she can now has a voice can can speak her replies. She is also animated as she talks! Unfortunately, there is a cost to this technology and I'm afraid I'll have to charge a nominal fee for you to talk to her. If there were any way I could avoid this, I would but I know you will find it worth paying for (not currently available due to financial restrictions).

23rd Nov 2006 - Mitsuku is currently learning about photographs. She should soon be able to display relevant pictures of people or things to do with the conversation. To see this early work in action, type "Brad Pitt", "James Blunt" or "Rod Stewart" for a few examples. She learns new people daily. Tell her about your favourite celebrities and she may be able to add them to her database.

24th Oct 2006 - I've amended Mitsuku so she can dress up and display different things depending on the time of year. As we have Halloween coming up, I've started with that. When there is no special occasion, I may give her a choice of different backgrounds.

2nd Oct 2006 - Mitsuku can give you a rundown of the UK Top 40 chart singles. Just ask her about the Top 40 and she will show you the current pop charts.

30th Sept 2006 - I've taught Mitsuku a few magic tricks. Just ask her to see some magic and she will show you her tricks. Most of them are pretty easy to figure out, so I've made it so that you can only see some of them once every couple of days, otherwise you will easily guess how they are done.

23rd Sept 2006 - Mitsuku can play more advanced games like Hangman and Tic-Tac-Toe rather than just text based games.

21st Sept 2006 - Mitsuku can now search the net for websites. Just ask her to show you a website about any subject you are interested in and she will display it on your screen. If they don't display, make sure any pop-up blocker software you have is disabled.

10th Sept 2006 - Created this site for Mitsuku. Mitsuku is an artificial intelligence who can chat to you, tell you stories, jokes and horoscopes. She is able to play a few simple games with you, as well as showing you webpages and pictures from the internet.

© 2014 Steve Worswick. All rights reserved.