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back to article Wannabe-human bots face 2012 Turing Test in Turing's old office

An artificial intelligence software contest devised as an experiment by mathematician Alan Turing will be held this year in his old office at wartime code-breaking HQ Bletchley Park. The location was chosen to mark the centenary of his birth in 1912. During the Turing Test a computer program must use natural language and hold a …

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Tricky

In an IM chat you'd probably pick out humans from their typos - and if you modified an AI to make human-like typos you'd be moving away from the true aim and into a pass-this-particular-test scenario.

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Terminator

re Tricky

I suspect any "AI" entered into this competition is engineered with a focus on this particular test anyway. For example ask the winner to play chess or write some poetry and see what you get.

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Mushroom

Ask the winner to play chess?

Up the ante a bit, go with Global Thermonuclear War.

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@PW

"I suspect any "AI" entered into this competition is engineered with a focus on this particular test anyway."

Yes, good point, but it would be a shame if any effort was directed at making responses less perfect than they might be just in order to win the prize.

I mean you could consider adding in possible responses along the lines of "Yeah, my mum always says that" or "That's not how I learned it at school" to try and fool the judges but it wouldn't advance the core technology at all.

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Agreed

Agree completely, but sadly that's how a lot of these 'Eliza' programs work. They're interesting, and often have quite sophisticated parsing algorithms, but ultimately that's all they are :(

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Trollface

Re: Agreed

My psychiatrist does a good imitation of 'Eliza'.

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Trollface

"Yeah, my mum always says that"

Or a better idea, make it tell "Your Mum" jokes.

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How about a easier prize

for a helpline that gives the illusion of being useful.

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Thumb Up

Re: How about a easier prize

In that case, would the computer be given an incomprehensible, heavily-accented Indian voice, and identify itself as 'Bob'?

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Boffin

Been to Blechley

Turing's "office" was a portacabin. He lead Hut 8.

Something tells me they will *actually* be using the mansion.

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Curious

"grand prize of $100,000 and a gold medal for the first computer whose responses are truly indistinguishable from a human's"

I'm curious to know how the threshold for winning this prize is determined. 'Judges' only rank entries from most-to-least 'humanlike', they make no absolute judgement on whether they believe an interlocuter is or isn't human. Also, the judges are a smallish subset, how many real people need to be convinced that a computer is human before it's considered to be "truly indistinguishable"?

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Coat

Some humans probably wouldn't pass that test.

I'm going...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Some humans probably wouldn't pass that test.

Indeed - and I hope the most bot-like human wins a prize too. It'd only be fair.

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Re: Some humans probably wouldn't pass that test.

sadly (because he even exists at all...) the "most" bot-like human is currently on trial in Norway.

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Joke

Note the criteria....

doesn't specify sobriety in the human. I can build an App to chant football slogans and threaten violence randomly, while repeating the phrase "I know my rights!" whenever questioned.

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Computer Poetry

has been around for over 50 years.

http://www.cs.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/news/archives/2009/03-12-09_poetry/

(With a bonus video about the computer itself)

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Anonymous Coward

Won't it be really easy to tell?

As the computers will be the only ones who can spell and form complete sentences.

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Pint

Machine Intelligence?

People have been talking about machine intelligence for at least half a century. This usually includes statements to the order of "If a machine can do (such-and-so), then it's intelligent. And quite a few times, machines have done (such-and-so) competently, and the judges have simply moved the goalposts.

The question is not whether machines may become intelligent. The question is whether humans will admit it when they do.

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Re: Machine Intelligence?

I'm afraid that the first sign of human level intelligence will be when a chat bot misses the test because it was busy on Facebook.

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Big Brother

The Turing test was devised years ago when the hot question was is Mr Hitler a rum chap. There has to be a test that recognises the evolution of our culture to is current high pitch of sophistication - what about the Betty Ford test?

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