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Bruce Wilcox

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Bruce Wilcox
  • Computer scientist
SpouseSue Wilcox
AwardsLoebner Prize (2010, 2011, 2014, 2015)

Bruce Wilcox is an artificial intelligence programmer.


MTS/LISP and Computer Go[edit]

A graduate of Michigan, Wilcox wrote the MTS/LISP interpreter (the LISP system used at the University of Michigan and a consortium of other places including UPenn and Brown) back in the early 1970s,[1] in order to be able to write a Go program for Dr. Walter Reitman. (Carole Hafner wrote the compiler.) The Go program was the first one to be able to give a 9-stone handicap to a human beginner and win.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

He wrote a Go program for the IBM-PC in the early 80's called NEMESIS Go Master, which became the first Go program to be released in Japan (as Taikyoku Igo).

Wilcox co-founded Toyogo, Inc., a company that created the first handheld Go machine (1987–2004). The company later went bankrupt.[8]

In the field of Go, Wilcox co-authored a book called EZ-GO, Oriental Strategy in a Nutshell,[9] and interactive software "books" Go Dojo: Contact Fights and Go Dojo: Sector Fights.

Later work[edit]

He was the "AI Guru" for 3DO (1995–2003) working on games such as the Army Men series (PC), Army Men: Green Rogue (PS2), Godai Elemental Force (PS2), and Jacked (PS2). He consulted for Fujitsu Labs (2003–2007) in a number of areas including motion sensing. Wilcox worked at the women's mobile company LimeLife (2005–2008).

Wilcox worked as a core engineer at Telltale Games from 2010 to 2012, working on games such as Poker Night at the Inventory, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Hector: Badge of Carnage, and Walking Dead.

Chatbot Technology[edit]

Wilcox worked on a chatbot technology for Avatar Reality called CHAT-L. His chatbot Suzette was released into the 2009 Chatterbox Challenge and did well, winning Best New Bot and coming in second most popular. It then won the 2010 Loebner Prize, fooling one of four human judges.[10] The Loebner entry was written in ChatScript, a language redesigned from CHAT-L. The engine is an open source project at SourceForge.[11] and GitHub.[12]

He won the 2011 Loebner Prize with a new chatbot, Rosette.[13][14] His bot Angela came in 2nd in 2012.[15] In 2013 his bot Rose came in 3rd.

In June 2012, Outfit7 released a popular ChatScript app called "Tom Loves Angela", scripted primarily by Bruce and his wife Sue. The chatbot, Angela, came in 3rd in ChatbotBattles 2012, won the prize for best 15-minute conversation, and placed 2nd in the Loebner prize.

He and his wife Sue founded the natural language company Brillig Understanding[16] in 2012.

Bruce's bot Rose won the 2014 Loebner Prize [17] and again in 2015.[18] He describes his chatbot design philosophy during an interview with the Data Skeptic podcast, where he also shares his thoughts about whether advances in machine learning and natural language processing could ever lead to more human-like chatbots.[19]

In 2016, he founded SapientX along with David Colleen and Maclen Marvit.[20]


  1. ^ Hafner, C., & Wilcox, B. LISP/MTS Programmer's Manual. Mental Health Research Institute Communication No. 302, and Information Processing Working Paper No. 21, The University of Michigan, 1974
  2. ^ Wilcox, B. Reflections on building two Go programs. ACM SIGART Bulletin Issue 94, October 1985
  3. ^ Reitman, W. and Wilcox, B. The Structure and performance of the Interim.2 Go program,1980. Proc. of the 6th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. IJCAI, Tokyo 1979, pp.711-719. also in: Computer Games I+II, Springer, 1988, Vol.II, pp.234-247.
  4. ^ Reitman, W. and Wilcox, B. Perception and representation of spatial relations in a program for playing Go. Proc. of the 30th National Conference of the Association for Computing Machinery, 1975. pp.37-41. also in: Computer Games I+II, Springer, 1988, Vol.II, pp.192-202.
  5. ^ Reitman, W. and Wilcox, B., Pattern Recognition and Pattern-Directed Inference in a Program for Playing Go. ACM SIGART Bulletin Issue 63, June 1977. also in DA Waterman and F. Hayes-Roth, Editors, Pattern Directed Inference Systems, Academic Press, New York (1978). pp.503-523, also in: Computer Games I+II, Springer, 1988, pp.214-233.
  6. ^ Reitman, W. and Wilcox, B., Modelling Tactical Analysis and Problem Solving in Go. Proc. of the Tenth Annual Pittsburgh Conference on Modelling and Simulation, pp. 2133-2148, 1979.
  7. ^ Reitman, W., et al., Goals and Plans in a Program for Playing Go. Proc. 29th ACM Conference, pp.123-127, 1974. also in: Computer Games I+II, Springer, 1988, Vol.II, pp.182-191.
  8. ^ "No title". Retrieved 24 April 2017. | [dead link]
  9. ^ EZ-GO, Oriental Strategy in a Nutshell by Bruce & Sue Wilcox ISBN 978-0-9652235-4-6 June 1996
  10. ^ Prizewinning chatbot steers the conversation, New Scientist, 27 October 2010
  11. ^ ChatScript, SourceForge
  12. ^ ChatScript Archived 2017-10-01 at the Wayback Machine, GitHub
  13. ^ Chatbots fail to convince judges that they're human, New Scientist, 20 October 2011
  14. ^ Meet Rosette at labs.telltalegames.com Archived October 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Chatbots fail to convince despite Loebner Prize win, New Scientist, 16 May 2012
  16. ^ "Brillig Understanding, Inc". Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  17. ^ "AISB - the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour - Loebner Prize". Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  18. ^ "AISB - the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour - Loebner Prize". Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  19. ^ The Loebner Prize, Data Skeptic Podcast, March 2018
  20. ^ "SapientX raises over $800,000 and growing". Santa Cruz Works. 25 May 2021. Retrieved 20 October 2023.