Daily Archives: Monday 16th June 2014

What Does the Turing Test Test?

So, a computer has passed the ‘Turing Test’ for ‘intelligence’, has it?  No, not really; in fact, no, not at all.  But, boy, has it stirred up some public interest in the subject?  That alone has to be good.  More than that, it’s got senior computer scientists debating anew about how the test should be implemented … and even what it actually means.

The usual bite-sized version of the Turing Test (TT) for public consumption is this …  Put a human in one room, in communication with both another human and a computer in a different room.  In modern terms, the communication would take the form of something like a text message conversation with each.  If the first human couldn’t say which of the second human or the computer was which (or got it wrong), then that would make the computer intelligent.  Last week, there was widespread coverage in the press that a computer – well a computer program – had passed the test.

Well, it’s hard to know where to begin with what’s wrong with this … Continue reading