RE: turing test

Rob Harris Cen-IT (
Mon, 14 Jun 1999 12:13:42 +0100

Just a thought on this whole AI thing........It astounds me the frequency with which I encounter people talking of "intelligence" in all kinds of contexts and applications without any remotely solid definition for this concept. Alan Turing indeed had the right idea when he created the Turing test. This is not a test as usual, with a single variable factor identified and tracked for evaluation, but a loosely defined game that makes no assumptions about the nature of what we call "intelligence". It is obvious that "intelligence" belongs with concepts such as "beauty", which is also subjective and abstract, both are human evaluation functions. Perhaps for now, it would be a good idea for AI moguls to ditch this futile pursuit of the undefined "intelligence", and isolate any discrete subcomponents of desired human behaviours one at a time.....


> ----------
> From: Spike Jones[]
> Reply To:
> Sent: 12 June 1999 20:10
> To:
> Subject: turing test
> Alan Turing (name uttered in low reverent tones) proposed
> that true artificial intelligence has been achieved when one
> can have a conversation with a human and a machine, and
> the interrogator would be unable to tell which is which.
> It seems with last week's news that a program can generate
> music in the style of Bach and Beethoven is at least the second
> example of having Turing's criterion achieved. The first example
> is chess computing. Using modern chess software, it is difficult
> or impossible to determine if a game was generated by two humans,
> a machine vs a human or machine vs machine. 15 years ago, one
> could tell easily. Today, no.
> When that software came about, those interested in Turing
> tests simply declared that chess has a straightforward algorithm,
> thereby its practice does not constitute intelligence! {8^D
> We chess players didnt like that a bit. Now the same appears
> to be happening to certain types of music.
> Please, those in the know, give me examples of areas that
> were once considered the domain of carbon based computers,
> that are now done by silicon, and speculate on near future
> domains where the trasition is yet to occur. spike

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