Turing test

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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 Loebner prize, 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)
References in periodicals archive ?
For the most part, current products flunk my e-reader Turing test. Imagine you want to buy a new pair of e-reading glasses.
It is beginning to look like we'll soon have an e-reader Turing test winner.
On November 8, 1991, an eclectic group including academics, business people, press, and passers-by filled two floors of Boston's Computer Museum for a tournament billed as the first actual administration of the Turing Test. The tournament was the first attempt on the recently constituted Loebner Prize established by New York theater equipment manufacturer Hugh Loebner and organized by Robert Epstein, president emeritus of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, a research center specializing in behaviorist psychology.
The prize at this first competition was a nominal $1,500, although Loebner has reportedly earmarked $100,000 for the first computer program to pass the full Turing Test at some later running of the competition.
Those principles argue against the Turing test proper as an appropriate task, despite its appropriateness as a criterion (perhaps the only one) for attributing intelligence to a machine.
There has been a spate recently of calls for replacements for the Turing test. Gary Marcus in The New Yorker asks "What Comes After the Turing Test?" and wants "to update a sixty-four-year-old test for the modern era" (Marcus 2014).
The Turing test challenge has inspired many and, indirectly if not directly, generated untold numbers of important research questions and decades of fascinating research, leading to computer systems that are "smart" in ways he himself might not have imagined.
We have also come to appreciate the importance of evaluation metrics that can determine partial success, which the Turing Test does not permit." (7)
Such superficial solutions have been a prominent approach to the traditional Turing test going back to the ELIZA program written in the 1960's (Weizenbaum 1966).
In the same way, a real Turing test is a broad set of questions probing the main aspects of human thinking.
So, are the machines that pass the Turing Test intelligent?
Still, none of this would seem commensurate with the direst warnings of "One Half of a Manifesto." It's true that if machines pass--or people fail--the Turing Test, and human beings and computers shake hands on the common ground of the algorithm, there may be little for a humanist to celebrate.