Cloud-based chatbots are almost old technology now; they’ve been around for four years. And reception has been decidedly mixed.

Last week, researchers at several collaborating institutions unveiled the formal write-up of something called the “Second Conversational Intelligence Challenge,” which was a competition among chatbots that took place during December 2018’s NeurIPS artificial intelligence conference. During the competition, they engaged a person with a bot in a casual conversation about what they both like.

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