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In January, we concluded Cemetech Contest #15: Crypto Golfing. This contest required participants to determine how a secret message was encoded, and to create a program to perform the decoding. This contest takes that a little farther and provides many more categories to earn points in. Cemetech Contest #16, created by KingInfinity and jonbush, is about IRC bots. To win this contest, you will need to create and test an IRC bot with features listed below. Each feature you implement is worth some points. The type of IRC bot you will be making is an AI Bot, or a chatbot. This type of bot can have conversations with users in the IRC chat just like a real human can. You can program in any language, using frameworks only to build your bot structure, and as much space as requires. Make sure you maintain a thread with occasional updates about your progress. At the end of the contest, you will need your source and documentation on which features you would like the judges to observe. We will test the bots on the IRC channel #contest-16 on 4/30/2016. Good luck, and have fun!

PRIZES
The top two overall winners will win a prize, with the first place winner getting first choice.

RULES
  • Contestants may not release any code or binaries before the end of the contest, including asking for programming help publicly or privately. Violators will be disqualified. Projects that have already been released in any form (excluding a contest project topic) already are not eligible for the contest.
  • The contest will run until 4/30/2016, at 11:59:59pm Eastern Time. No late entries will be accepted.
  • All contestants must maintain a topic in the Contests subforum on Cemetech, including a first post that mentions the programming language(s) you'll be using. Do not post algorithmic solutions, code, or hints.
  • Submit entries by emailing them, in a zip file, to contest at this domain name. The file name should be formatted as follows: username_bot.zip. Be sure to provide your Cemetech username in the subject or body of the email so we know who you are! Each Cemetech member can submit a single entry in one or more of the accepted language + platform combinations.
  • Judging will be performed by a team picked from among the Cemetech administrators and members; all judges are disqualified from entering the contest. Results will be posted no later than ten days after the end of the contest.
  • The bot must be able to connect to IRC and maintain a connection. Entries with an inability to do this will be disqualified.
  • You may only use frameworks or libraries for your botís structure (i.e. PircBot), you may not use a downloaded library to get information from a source, you must do this yourself (i.e. you may use Wikipedia, but you canít use a library made by someone else that gets Wikipedia articles for you)
  • Additional rules are listed here.


JUDGING
We will be judging results based on requirements met in individual categories of the features listed here, points are all or nothing for each requirement. There will be winners in each category, as well as an overall winner based on total points across all categories. Since we are aware that some participants will create new features not listed, we do plan to award a total amount of 4*[number of participants] wildcard points to any other features that are not listed. Since we are only awarding a limited amount of total extra points, make any original features you create extra competitively savvy!

CRITERIA
The chatbots will be scored based on the criteria listed in the Features for ChatBot spreadsheet.



What are you waiting for? Get creating! Weíre so excited to see what you can do!
I'm so excited to see what our members will create! Good luck to everyone who submits an entry!
Interesting! i wonder how many people will take a a hard coded approach. Maybe neural networks can be used for this somehow?
c4ooo wrote:
Interesting! i wonder how many people will take a a hard coded approach. Maybe neural networks can be used for this somehow?


From what I know about neural networks, they would be exceedingly difficult to use for a chatbot because 1. there are LOTS of potential inputs and outputs (more than the number of bytes on your hard drive) and 2. there is no easy way to judge how "good" an output is. (i.e. the "fitness" of any given network) so it must be done slowly and manually. Of course, you could simplify the first problem by using limited vocabulary and, in another context, the second issue could potentially be crowdsourced (obviously this is not really an option for a Cemetech contest). Still, some form of learning AI is certainly possible... (cough) (wink)
Hm... I've never made my own bot before, but I think this is a good opportunity to learn! Very Happy When it says "color combinations" on the spreadsheet, does it mean "red" + "yellow" or 0xf800 + 0xffe0? I assume it means both plus any other color types. Razz
Spenceboy98 wrote:
When it says "color combinations" on the spreadsheet, does it mean "red" + "yellow" or 0xf800 + 0xffe0? I assume it means both plus any other color types. Razz

We generally meant it to be red and yellow, but other ways to combine colors would also be cool to include! Remember the wildcard points!
Protip: everyone likes a good nikkybot clone
Sounds like a fun contest topic. I sadly 1 month isn't enough time for me to attempt this, so I'll look forward to being invaded by bots in the near future.

Also, not being able to use libraries to pull from sources (or libraries in general? Too vague) sounds like too much time spent reinventing wheels to integrate into tons of services than it's worth.
AHelper wrote:
Also, not being able to use libraries to pull from sources (or libraries in general? Too vague) sounds like too much time spent reinventing wheels to integrate into tons of services than it's worth.

The rule is that you can use libraries for your bot structure, but not for info gathering. This is because if libraries were allowed for Wikipedia, Google, etc. it would basically become free points- plus, are you really learning anything from that?
Please note that the contest deadline has been extended to 30 April 2016, which should give you more than enough time to come up with some pretty cool entries. We are looking forward to seeing what you can do! Smile
Would it be possible to create and maintain a channel where the bots "live"?
Would be kind of cool to observe a chat of 10+ chatbots... Or 10-, still awesome.
Nik wrote:
Would it be possible to create and maintain a channel where the bots "live"?
Would be kind of cool to observe a chat of 10+ chatbots... Or 10-, still awesome.

IRC Channel for the contest is #contest-16! You can also bring bots to my new channel #bot w/o restrictions Smile
KingInfinity wrote:
Nik wrote:
Would it be possible to create and maintain a channel where the bots "live"?
Would be kind of cool to observe a chat of 10+ chatbots... Or 10-, still awesome.

IRC Channel for the contest is #contest-16! You can also bring bots to my new channel #bot w/o restrictions Smile


Awesome! I'll try to get back into this contest... I've been busy with schoolwork for the past few weeks, but it's mostly over now.

EDIT: I noticed the rules doc is view-only (no copying). It would be nice if one could create a copy of it to keep track of what features their bot has so far (as a sort of to-do list). Wink
Hactar wrote:
EDIT: I noticed the rules doc is view-only (no copying). It would be nice if one could create a copy of it to keep track of what features their bot has so far (as a sort of to-do list). Wink

Rules document or features document? I could fix either for you, so just let me know (or both).
With nearly a month left in the competition, there is still ample time to polish up your AIs before the final testing date. I would once again like to encourage participants to continue posting updates on their progress. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Time remaining:
Now that the contest has ended (as evinced by my malfunctioning countdown above), all contenstants should abide by the following rule as soon as possible:

▪ Submit entries by emailing them, in a zip file, to contest at this domain name. The file name should be formatted as follows: username_bot.zip. Be sure to provide your Cemetech username in the subject or body of the email so we know who you are! Each Cemetech member can submit a single entry in one or more of the accepted language + platform combinations.

Any entries received within the next 48 hours will be accepted.
For Cemetech Contest #16, contestants were challenged to create IRC bots to tackle a variety of tasks. Despite the low participation, this contest once again brought out the ingenuity and skill of Cemetech members.

Winner
We would like to congratulate Cemetech member Hactar for creating the winning submission for Cemetech Contest #16: "XenoBot". XenoBot is designed to help people with mixing different colors together, and can handle a variety of input formats. Additionally, XenoBot can respond to messages with his name in them depending on the construction of the sentence.

Honorable mention
We would also like to mention elfprince13's "If I only had a brain." Even though the bot lacked the essential organ, it was still capable of learning and managed to "emulate Cemetech-ese." Unfortunately, "If I only had a brain" died in a fatal crash before the end of the contest.

Special thanks
▪ KingInfinity, for developing the contest idea, rules, and scoring guidelines.
▪ earthnite, for creating the Contest #16 banner

Congratulations you two! Were there no other participants?
Congratulations! So what will the next contest be?
Alex wrote:
Congratulations you two! Were there no other participants?


(Unfortunately not.)
  
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