Turing Test Passed?

If you’re a muggle, or have slept for most of the past 30 years, you may not know what the Turing Test is. If so, you should stop reading this blog immediately and find out. Try google.

So today I saw this headline from an article printed yesterday on The Independent out of the UK: Turing Test breakthrough as super-computer becomes first to convince us it’s human

I was naturally intrigued. Passing the Turing Test has been the holy grail of AI since the dawn of civilization — or at least since the dawn of the digitalli. Elation and terror ought to be the natural human response to any AI so advanced it is indistinguishable from us breathing bags of water. Carefully I clicked on the link in the article leading to the AI on the other side.

Chat with Eugene (link deprecated)

Meet Eugene Goostman, the 13 year old Ukrainian boy touted as the first to pass that most elusive test for the ages. Alas, I was disappointed.

Hardly a candidate for Turing Test master, IMHO. Clever, perhaps, but not even close to convincing. Perhaps it is a slow news day; the web-wide echo chamber has picked up the meme. I too now do so, but with less enthusiasm. Nothing to see here … move on.

On an entirely unrelated note, I have been called a poet. I’ve been called many things in my life, but not a poet — not until now.

I subscribe to The Listserve, an only mailing list/lottery of some 24K members that allows one list member to publish something to the entire list daily. So one email per day, from this group of like-minded others. The rules are simple: be interesting in fewer than 600 words.

I won last week. I had 48 hours to respond to the notice. My work was captured by a fellow Listerver and is published here. So now I have been called a poet.

Perhaps if Eugene Goostman had been a bit more poetic, I’d have been more prone to believe in him.

UDATE: 10 June 2014
Evidently the talented Mr. Goostman took exception to the copious criticisms that must have come as a result of the Turing Test claims made so recently; the site appears to be inoperative. If the broken image icon appears in the “Chat with Eugene” box above, then the site is still down. Perhaps he is resting. πŸ™‚

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