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Bots found more human than human in simulated death match

In simulated 3D combat with humans, big surprise as bot winners convince the judges they're a lot more than fancy algorithms.

Botprize 2012 trophy 2K Games

Another sign that the future is merging with our present: the winners in the annual BotPrize competition are a couple of bots whose behavior was indistinguishable from that of human players in a simulated 3D death match.

In the game, bots and humans attempt to wipe out the other over several rounds of combat and the judges of the competition guess which opponents were human. This year marked the first time that the bots displayed a "humanness rating" of over 50 percent. The rating reflects the number of times that each bot was judged by humans to actually be human.

In previous competitions, the highest rating racked up by a bot was 34.2 percent. This year's bot winners had a humanness rating of 52 percent, compared to the average humanness rating of the human players of 40 percent.

To win the prize, a bot has to be indistinguishable from a human player. (You can find the results page here.

The winning bots were created by a team from the University of Texas at Austin and Mihai Polceanu, a doctoral student from Romania. They will share the $7,000 prize money put up by 2K Games. The competition, which has been held since 2008, was was created and is organized by Associate Professor Philip Hingston of Edith Cowan University, in Perth, Western Australia.