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Programming IT Technology

New Contestants On the Turing Test 630

vitamine73 writes "At 9 a.m. next Sunday, six computer programs — 'artificial conversational entities' — will answer questions posed by human volunteers at the University of Reading in a bid to become the first recognized 'thinking' machine. If any program succeeds, it is likely to be hailed as the most significant breakthrough in artificial intelligence since the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. It could also raise profound questions about whether a computer has the potential to be 'conscious' — and if humans should have the 'right' to switch it off."
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New Contestants On the Turing Test

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  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Informative)

    by houghi ( 78078 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @11:22AM (#25300119)

    Does it matter? At least not for passing the Turing test. If the responses are in such a way that you can not tell the difference, it doesn't matter if there were tricks used or not.

    The tricks will be part of the program.

  • by hobbit ( 5915 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @11:22AM (#25300121)

    No, that's the purpose of cognitive science. Artificial intelligence is the name that we give to the study of technology that is between commonplace and (to borrow Arthur C. Clarke's terminology) magic.

  • Re:Well... (Score:2, Informative)

    by hobbit ( 5915 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @11:24AM (#25300155)

    Here's a good place to start: []

  • by internerdj ( 1319281 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @11:24AM (#25300159)
    Sort of. It also makes computers more (and less useful). Weak AI allows for developers to offload decisions from the operator to the computer that would normally be tedious but out of the realm of a computer's ability to process. Strong AI is of more scientific use and actually brings up the philosophical quandries. It will bring us to greater understanding of how we think, but don't discount the practical uses of machines that pretend to think.
  • Re:Questions? (Score:2, Informative)

    by hobbit ( 5915 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @11:33AM (#25300317)

    We probably will not produce it by accident, either, unless and until we are reproducing the human mind.

    If you assume substrate independence, you end up here [].

  • Not replicants (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @11:35AM (#25300353) Journal
    Not replicants.

    The term you're looking for is Artificial Intelligence.
  • by deadbeefcafe ( 1371017 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @11:42AM (#25300477)

    ... and to this day have refused to release the logs from the machine which would prove how it made such an improbable (for a computer at least) move.

    Log from game 6 []

    From here: []

  • Holy crap... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Keyper7 ( 1160079 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @11:43AM (#25300479)
    From TFA:

    Can you tell human from machine?
    One of these conversations is between Professor Kevin Warwick (KW) and a human; the other between Warwick and a computer. Can you tell which is which?

    Conversation one:
    Subject: Hello. My name is Nick and I am a human.
    KW: Are you happy being a human?
    Subject: Yes, I am. Are you? Good. Then we are both happy.
    KW: Yes, I am. Are you happy with your life at present?
    Subject: Parts of it. I hate my job, but most people do, right?
    KW: I'm OK with mine. What is your job?
    Subject: I work as an 'online internet advertising monitor', which is fancy language for electronic filing. What do you do?
    KW: I interrogate humans and machines.
    Subject: Which ones do you prefer, humans or machines?
    KW: Which do you prefer?
    Subject: Hmm. Depends on for what purpose you mean.
    KW: To go to a restaurant, for example?
    Subject: Then I would much prefer going with a human.

    Conversation two:
    Subject: Hello, my name is Mike and I am a man.
    KW: Are you happy being a human?
    Subject: Judge, I'm a guy.
    KW: Does that worry you?
    Subject: Don't worry, we'll work everything through.
    KW: Do you have worries then?
    Subject: Let's move on from that basis.
    KW: Why?
    Subject: Why? I like this subject.
    KW: What is the subject, do you think?
    Subject: What is the subject I wonder if I think? I know that it's good to thonk about. Think deeplt about mysterious subjects.
    KW: What mysterious subjects?
    Subject: Think deeply about mysterious dubjects.
    KW: What's a dubject?

    Conversation one is with a human; conversation two is with the program Ultra Hal.

    No shit, Sherlock? The second conversation stops making sense in the first answer.

  • by Lanu2000 ( 972889 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @12:33PM (#25301249)
    You know, that is really a myth. We don't just use the first and last letters, but the shape of the word too. If you take a sentence with multiple words having many ascenders and descenders, then place the ascenders and descenders alternating at the beginning of the word, it is much easier to get confused. Many times people use the other words in a sentence to determine what the more difficult words are.
  • by Danish_guy ( 847627 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @01:02PM (#25301763)
    Actually there's a rather interesting book about this subject, taking an example in Data, but arguing for all kinds of artificial intelligence. "Is Data human? The metaphysics of Star Trek" written by Richard Hanley (Paperback)ISBN: 0-465-04548-0 In this book Hanley, among other things discuess and debate the various kinds of intelligence and how they might come to express themselves. When is intelligence the same as personhood and so on, he even expands on the turing test to test for more than just intelligence. I've been reading this book over and over lately, and can highly recommend it if the notion of what and how an AI is and just what we need to consider when creating and especially testing these machines, interests you.
  • by RicktheBrick ( 588466 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @01:31PM (#25302229)
    I had a hamster. It was given to me and I kept it because of my nephew. It was not very intelligent. It had a safe home and I would let it roam the house in a ball. Even though I kept is well fed, warm and watered, the hamster spent most of its time trying to get free. I also had two cats but the hamster would find a place where the ball would not move so he could chew on the cover. He got out several times but I could easily recapture it. He finally made it into a heating vent and from there into the furnace where he died from either old age(he was nearing 3 years of age) or lack of water.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.