Turing test

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Related to Imitation Game: enigma, birdman, Alan Turing

Turing test,

a procedure to test whether a computercomputer,
device capable of performing a series of arithmetic or logical operations. A computer is distinguished from a calculating machine, such as an electronic calculator, by being able to store a computer program (so that it can repeat its operations and make logical
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 is capable of humanlike thought. As proposed (1950) by the British mathematician Alan TuringTuring, Alan Mathison,
1912–54, British mathematician and computer theorist. While studying at Cambridge he began work in predicate logic that led to a proof (1937) that some mathematical problems are not susceptible to solution by automated computation; in arriving at
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, a person (the interrogator) sits with a teletype machine isolated from two correspondents—one is another person, one is a computer. By asking questions through the teletype and studying the responses, the interrogator tries to determine which correspondent is human and which is the computer. The computer is programmed to give deceptive answers, e.g., when asked to add two numbers together, the computer pauses slightly before giving the incorrect sum—to imitate what a human might do, the computer gives an incorrect answer slowly since the interrogator would expect the machine to give the correct answer quickly. If it proves impossible for the interrogator to discriminate between the human and the computer, the computer is credited with having passed the test.

Turing test

(artificial intelligence)
A criterion proposed by Alan Turing in 1950 for deciding whether a computer is intelligent. Turing called it "the Imitation Game" and offered it as a replacement for the question, "Can machines think?"

A human holds a written conversation on any topic with an unseen correspondent (nowadays it might be by electronic mail or chat). If the human believes he is talking to another human when he is really talking to a computer then the computer has passed the Turing test and is deemed to be intelligent.

Turing predicted that within 50 years (by the year 2000) technological progress would produce computing machines with a capacity of 10**9 bits, and that with such machinery, a computer program would be able to fool the average questioner for 5 minutes about 70% of the time.

The Loebner Prize is a competition to find a computer program which can pass an unrestricted Turing test.

Julia is a program that attempts to pass the Turing test.

See also AI-complete.

Turing's paper.

Turing test

The "acid test" of true artificial intelligence, as defined by the English scientist Alan Turing. In the 1940s, he said "a machine has artificial intelligence when there is no discernible difference between the conversation generated by the machine and that of an intelligent person."

A computing pioneer, Turing cracked Germany's Enigma encryption code in World War II, helping end the war and saving millions of lives. In 2014, The Imitation Game movie of this achievement was released starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.

In the best selling book, "The Singularity Is Near," Ray Kurzweil expressed the opinion that computers will pass the Turing test in the late 2020s. See CAPTCHA, chatbot and computer generations.


Alan Mathison Turing
After prosecution for homosexuality in 1952, Turing agreed to chemical castration by the British government in lieu of prison. Two years later, a humiliated Turing died of cyanide poisoning at age 41. In 2013, Queen Elizabeth granted him a posthumous pardon. (Image courtesy of The Computer History Museum, www.computerhistory.org)
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