AI-based Chatterbot Developed by i-Free is First in World to Pass Turing Test

June 10, 2014, St. Petersburg, Russia – Eugene Goostman is an AI chatterbot built by Vladimir Veselov, Sergey Ullasen and his team and developed by i-Free. It is the first anywhere in the world to successfully pass the Turing test, with over a third of judges mistaking Eugene for a human.

AI technology has long occupied a place in i-Free’s specialties and professional interests: the company uses its AI platform to produce virtual assistants for mobile devices and “smart home” systems.

In 2011 i-Free acquired an IT platform created by Russian developer Vladimir Veselov and his team, subsequently developing it further in cooperation with Veselov. In 2012 the platform won the Turing-100 competition held in London, and in 2013 i-Free presented it for the first bionic person in the world, one created by Shadow Robot Co., a British company.

The program is composed of a knowledge base with about three thousand phrase recognition patterns that uses varying methods for holding a conversation and successfully imitating a human being. “Eugene has a sense of humor and often tries to take the conversation where he needs it to go, just as people would. That is why he is able to have a fairly limited conversation within which his answers look very human instead of phrases voiced by a search engine,” said platform developer Vladimir Veselov.

The public Virtual Robots Turing test event took place on 7 June 2014, the 60th anniversary of the untimely death of Alan Turing. Lead Scientist of the experiment, Professor Kevin Warwick is the Deputy Vice Chancellor-Research at Coventry University and Visiting Professor at The University of Reading. The event was coordinated by Dr. Huma Shah. Four other chatbots participated in English in addition to Eugene Goostman: Cleverbot by Rollo Carpenter, Elbot by Fred Roberts, JFRED by Robby Garner, and Ultra Hal by Robert Medeksza.  

Huma Shah said “the machines/chatbots help to implement practical Turing tests and get children interested in computer science and robotics. Machine performance helps us to map how well machines are doing, in the subjective opinion of the human Judges, in humanlike conversation and where the machines currently are on a scale, ie., are the machines at the level of a child conversationalist, or like a non-native adult. On the Judges, we need to remember smart people are deceived, being deceived is not being dumb, it shows we humans are too trusting.”

Kirill Petrov, Managing Director at i-Free Innovations, also noted that “We are very happy the artificial intelligence platform we thoroughly support achieved such impressive results. It is currently in active use in our mobile apps: thanks to this platform, virtual assistants not only help smartphone owners use different services, they can chat with them on a human level across widely varying topics. Another important area for our artificial intelligence platform is ‘smart home’ systems, another focal point that for us is a priority for implementing AI technology.”

More detailed information on the Turing test is available here.

In September 2014 i-Free  organizes the Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language (AINL) research-to-practice conference, focused on automatic processing of natural language.



About Vladimir Veselov

Vladimir Veselov graduated from Mozhaisky Military Academy of Space Engineers in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1991, and in 1997, completed his Ph.D. at the same school in Technical Sciences.  After graduating, Veselov worked as a researcher and lecturer at Mozhaisky Academy where he developed methods of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the control of spacecrafts.  In 1999, he worked for Artificial Life, Inc. (a Boston, MA, USA Company) where he continued his work in developing artificial intelligence systems.  After moving to the United States in 2000, he co-founded Princeton AI in 2001 and developed his own AI platform.  Since 2002, Veselov has been employed by Johnson & Johnson and works with matters of analytical laboratory automation and in-vitro data processing. In November 2011, when i-Free purchased the technology developed under Veselov from Princeton AI, he has continued to develop the platform in cooperation with i-Free.  More information about Dr. Veselov can be found on his LinkedIn profile.


i-Free is a Russian innovation company that has operated in the CIS since 2001 and internationally since 2006. The company develops and implements cutting-edge solutions in mobile and NFC technology, electronic finance, digital content distribution, electronic payments and micropayments, applications for smartphones and new network devices, digital products for the B2C market, and B2B projects in mobile marketing.

i-Free has more than 650 employees and is headquartered in St Petersburg with a regional office in Moscow. Outside Russia, i-Free has offices in Kiev (Ukraine), Minsk (Belarus), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Mumbai (India), Beijing (China). The company’s products and services are available to consumers and businesses in more than 100 countries.

i-Free partners with the leading mobile operators in Russia and the CIS, with international mobile equipment vendors, banks, transnational brands, major media groups, publishers, and online resources.

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