The Turing test doesn’t matter

An excellent exploration of the Turing test, AI, and the ability of the former to assess the later. I especially agree with Mr. Pigliucci’s argument that we really don’t even know what we are looking for with this test. We’re apparently asking whether some ‘being’ is close enough to us in its way of thinking and expressing itself that we are fooled into assuming that it is human.
The question is pushed into one of ‘what is it to be human?’ or ‘can we even believe that other humans are human?’
Does cloning / synthesizing the attributes of a human make a human? This might be a problem of too much ‘teaching to the test.’
And, again, the author reminds us that we actually want to believe in agency. It works with the way we think…
He continues,”I’d wager that ants, for instance, have no self-awareness,” yet we want to see intelligence in what they do.

A great question and a great article.

Scientia Salon

turing testby Massimo Pigliucci

You probably heard the news: a supercomputer has become sentient and has passed the Turing test (i.e., has managed to fool a human being into thinking he was talking to another human being [1,2])! Surely the Singularity is around the corner and humanity is either doomed or will soon become god-like.

Except, of course, that little of the above is true, and it matters even less. First, let’s get the facts straight: what actually happened [3] was that a chatterbot (i.e., a computer script), not a computer, has passed the Turing test at a competition organized at the Royal Society in London. Second, there is no reason whatsoever to think that the chatterbot in question, named “Eugene Goostman” and designed by Vladimir Veselov, is sentient, or even particularly intelligent. It’s little more than a (clever) parlor trick. Third, this was actually the second time that a chatterbot passed…

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