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back to article Ukrainian teen created in lab passes Turing Test – famous nutty prof

Some software has supposedly passed the Turing Test – a controversial benchmark of artificial intelligence – by fooling a handful of humans into thinking it's a talkative 13-year-old Ukrainian lad. Cyborg prof Kevin Warwick argues this is the first time a machine has ever passed the famous test. We're told the successful chat- …

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Transcript

Is there a transcript of this conversation available?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Transcript

I'm hunting for transcripts. In the meantime, this is the sort of level of conversation you can have with the public online version (DDoSed under popularity)

C.

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Re: Transcript

Complete drivel and that supposedly fooled celebrities and other humans. OK, celebrities fine but other humans? To paraphrase Bill Clinton, we need to define "other humans"

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Re: Transcript

Judging by that transcript it is no more than Eliza with a larger list of stock phrases. It even tripped up on a common Eliza fault with "do you like to eat $food" where $food="at home"

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Re: Transcript

Indeed. I didn't see much in that conversation that made it look significantly better than something I wrote at a YTS place over 30 years ago, other than benefiting from greater storage (and processor grunt) to provide a much bigger range of data.

I despair at the judges.

Edit: I've just spotted that the example transcript was from just after one of the previous attempts, when it achieved just under 30% - so it may have improved since then. But I still despair at the judges in that attempt.

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Re: Transcript

Oh, what a fruitful conversation;-)

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Re: Transcript

I could see it fooling some people if they believed they were talking to a human with less than stellar command of the English language (such as could be expected from a 13 year old Ukrainian), but 30% of humans? I think that's pushing it.

Then again, people are stupid and will believe whatever they want to be true or what they fear is true.

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Pint

Excuse the philosophical question...

Can the Turing Test be automated?

(The distant sound of heads exploding... LOL)

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Meh

Re: 30% of humans? I think that's pushing it.

Perhaps we need an 'advanced' Turing Test, judged solely by IT types. Seriously. As has been said here several times, this was a really dreadful Eliza hash without anything to show the improvements that have been made in AI in the 30-odd years since that program was being bashed into every home computer on the planet.

If it can fool > 30% of developers, I'll definitely sit up and take note.

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How long before...

... auto-troll feature is implemented in online forums and games? And how will we be able to tell it's not humans trolling?

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Re: How long before...

I suspect that has already occurred. As for telling the bots from the trolls, what's the point?

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Unhappy

Re: How long before...

Damn! I've been discovered!!

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FAIL

Re: Excuse the philosophical question...

It turns out to be quite amusing to ask Eugene that question over and over:

Q. Can the Turing Test be automated?

A. Oops! I don't have an answer... It might have been stolen by malicious android!

Q. Can the Turing Test be automated?

A. Don't repeat yourself, please:-) Could you tell me about your job, by the way?

Q. Do you know about Spinoza?

A. Dutch philosopher. It looks like you didn't go to school. So you don't know anything about Baruch Spinoza.

Q. Can the Turing Test be automated?

A. Ummm... Frankly, I didn't get your question:-(

Q. Can the Turing Test be automated?

A. Could you rephrase your question? I've been bewildered a bit!

Q. Can the Turing Test be automated?

A. Don't repeat yourself, please:-) Oooh. Anything else?

How could anybody be misled for a moment by this?

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Re: Transcript

In the transcript, it had begun to seem like a chat bot by its second reply:

J: What did you do today so far?

E: Since early this morning I’ve been involved in this funny contest. I also plan to visit some interesting places in Atlanta.

The "funny contest" part was cute, but the Atlanta part already seemed like an embellishment that doesn't quite mesh with the question being asked--in a manner so typical of chat bot responses.

I wonder what kind of briefing is given to the judges beforehand. The simplest bit of advice to the judges could thwart any chat bot I've yet encountered: try to teach it something.

I usually start out by attempting to teach them how to draw even the simplest possible shapes as ASCII art. (The simplest way to draw a "star" might be an asterisk.) Unsurprisingly, the bot immediately begins dithering and misdirecting and trying to change the subject. Not one has yet even made a pretense of being willing to attempt learning something.

Of course, if ASCII art shapes became a popular question, bot authors would code in some logic for that. The key is just finding something simple it doesn't yet know how to do (that any human could easily respond to and learn) and trying to teach it that.

The day someone makes a bot that can navigate these simple interactive learning tasks and actually add new tricks and vocabulary to its repertoire in the process, I'll be genuinely impressed (regardless of how it might perform in a Turing test setting conversationally.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 30% of humans? I think that's pushing it.

I'm wondering if the real humans are doing their best to pretend they're not -- in which case it could be quite tricky to figure out who or what you're talking to.

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Trollface

Re: If it can fool > 30% of developers, I'll definitely sit up and take note.

Are you including VB devs in that?

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Language skills?

Was the conversation conducted in Eugene's native language, which I presume is Ukrainian, or in English? If the latter, I suggest that this is not the scenario that Alan Turing was envisaging. I'd make an uninformed guess that the best discriminators between AIs and humans are currently language-based jokes.

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Re: Language skills?

I'm pretty sure the conversation was in English. Choosing a character for which English is not the primary language is probably a trick to plausibly invalidate language-based jokes.

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Re: Language skills?

//Choosing a character for which English is not the primary language//

That together with pretending to be thirteen seems like cheating to me. Else, why not claim to have a three-year-old battering away at the keyboard?

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Re: Language skills?

That's what I thought. If you can play it that way, here's my entry (inspired, unfortunately, from real life)

10 print "Waah! Waah! Waaaa!"

20 goto 10

To be fair, the accompanying transcript of Eugene isn't totally unimpressive. It shouldn't fool anyone but in its limited way it's not bad.

(edit: and Kevin Warwick is a tit)

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Headmaster

Re: Language skills?

As well as that doubt was cast on the concept of Touring test YEARS ago when Eliza was written. Given the quality of Reality TV and Soaps you need an expert.

IMO even when the "The Touring Test" can be passed well enough fool experts, it doesn't mean anything about progress on AI, just progress on simulation of conversation. Just like Chess was thought to need AI and Alan Turing himself proved it didn't.

I think anyway Alan Turing's comment was an off the cuff statement rather than anything with any mathematical proof, unlike his paper about solvable & unsolvable problems illustrated with the infinite paper tape driven computer. ("Turing Machine").

Of course Kevin Warwick involved makes one think it may be ill-informed hype.

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Re: Language skills?

I think you can easily improve this one to more effectively imitate the baby.

10 Nu=Rnd(0)

20 If Nu >= .5 then 10

30 print "Waah! Waah! Waaaa!"

40 Goto 10

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Re: Language skills?

I don't think it should be held against the Turing Test that there are people who can't pass it. I leave the question of what should be done with those who fail to others as a homework assignment.

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Re: Language skills?

13 year old kid is even easier -

10 print "u gay fag!"

20 print "* rage quit *"

30 end

Admittedly, most of my experience stems from online gaming.

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Meh

Re: Language skills?

"Ha. Ha. That is very logical." Firesign Theater (possibly paraphrased)

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I wonder if Prof Cyborg will deign to publish his results in a peer-reviewed journal, or whether this will be another one of his media friendly press releases that never seems to get into the formal literature.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Mike

"I wonder if Prof Cyborg will deign to publish his results in a peer-reviewed journal"

I hear the results from Saturday will be put into a paper of some sort. Waiting for the university to get back to me. I gather the uni denied the Telegraph access to the transcripts, so this could turn interesting.

C.

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Re: Mike

"I hear the results from Saturday will be put into a paper of some sort."

Such as the Daily Mail. EAST EUROPEAN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ON ITS WAY TO CLAIM BENEFITS FROM UK TAXPAYERS!

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Re: Mike

>I hear the results from Saturday will be put into a paper of some sort.

It's been in the Daily Mail already.

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Pot - Kettle

Has Kevin Warwick ever managed to pass a Turing test?.

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Re: Pot - Kettle

Har!

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Re: Pot - Kettle

He still did better then any politician at pretending to be human.

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What's the opposite of a Turing test?

Is this really an advance in computing, or does it mark a degeneration in humans? The typical 13-year-old on the internet gets harder to distinguish from an Eliza every year.

"What do you think about X?"

"hurr lol your mom is X"

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Re: What's the opposite of a Turing test?

I wonder what would happen if this "character" met up with his forebears PARRY or ELIZA.

Those two did get chatting one day, it didn't go well.

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Re: What's the opposite of a Turing test?

@ Jedit: FAIL you spelt 'your' wrong

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Headmaster

"FAIL you spelt 'your' wrong"

No, I didn't. I admit, though, that I did make a mistake in that I spelt it correctly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "FAIL you spelt 'your' wrong"

@Jedit "ur" hth

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Re: What's the opposite of a Turing test?

"I wonder what would happen if this "character" met up with his forebears PARRY or ELIZA."

That's an interesting idea. One of the problems of the Turing test is that any sane human will give the machine the benefit of the doubt and "rescue" any conversation that is heading for the madhouse. So why not instead put two instances of <test-subject> into conversation with each other and ask your human to judge whether the resulting conversation is between two humans or two machines?

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From reading the sample above linked by DioDesign

all I can say is that if it fooled 33% of the people testing it then they're a pretty credulous bunch.

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Re: From reading the sample above linked by DioDesign

I'd hate to check the condition of the computers these judges own....... I'm guessing that they have reset their banking credentials, downloaded their parcel redirects and are currently waiting for the reimbursement of $Millions from some Nigerian bank account they have inherited...

Yes, some replies are natural language replies... but a lot are the sort of guff you would expect Siri, Cortana or some clever internet chat page to come up with...

Here is hoping that Eugene was an early beta version....

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Happy

Re: From reading the sample above linked by DioDesign

Slightly OT... Is it DioDesign or DiodeSign?

That would thow an AI.

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Coat

Re: From reading the sample above linked by DioDesign

> That would thow an AI.

But how far and how well would it fly? Like an arrow or a banana?

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Re: From reading the sample above linked by DioDesign

"Slightly OT... Is it DioDesign or DiodeSign?"

How many diodes could a diodesign sign if a diodesign could sign diodes?

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"the bot managed to convince 33 per cent of the judges that it was a real boy. The pass mark is 30 percent."

Not bad. Less than 30% of the people I talk to face-to-face seem like real humans to me.

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Intelligence on the internet?

The ability to imitate a 13 y/o boy is a good goal - if you're a 12 y/o boy.

However, I feel that if Alan Turing was alive today, and looked at the traffic on the world's most popular social media sites, he would (quite naturally) assume that they were test-beds for AI's and that there was still a long, long way to go before any of them appeared even faintly human.

If this result tells us anything, it's that a test devised right at the dawn of the IT era, before there was any experience of AI to draw on, is too limited to be useful. Just as we don't believe that aircraft imitate birds (even though they both fly), we shouldn't consider this anything like a computer imitating a person.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Intelligence on the internet?

Unlike most chatrooms of 50+ year old men pretending to be 14 year old girls

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Re: Intelligence on the internet?

It's a long time since I was 13, but I seem to recall that mumbling a lot and refusing to complete sentances and answer questions were par for the course.

It should be easy for a computer to replicate that.

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Re: Intelligence on the internet?

Whadda you mean I failed the Turing Test? It's not fair! I HATE YOU!!!!!

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Lowering the bar, surely?

I don't think the point of the Turing test was really to reduce the scope of the conversation to the point where the AI could be convincing; if it was then someone could have claimed the "every bit as convincing as a 1 year-old" victory decades ago.

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Totally agree

From the extract in the article itself, the Turing Test makes no mention that the subject tested is supposed to be anything but an adult.

But hey, you gotta start somewhere. Personally, I would have failed it straightaway. 13-year-olds use way to much l33tsp35k for me to understand them. This one wrote complete sentences. That, in my book, is a dead giveaway that it can't be a human child.

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