Re: the Turing test

Ira Brodsky (
Fri, 18 Oct 1996 13:21:17 -0600

Lyle Burkhead wrote:

>This remains true. Even after being told that there is an AI on the list,
>no one has seriously raised the question of whether one of the posters
>on the list is an AI. Jokingly, yes. Seriously, no.
>The program continues to pass the test with flying colors.

I think we need something more than just your pronouncements to take this
seriously. How about a press release, or even a signed letter from the
Chair of CMU Computer Science department?

>Ira, how can you confidently say "way above anything yet achieved
>by AI?" You only know what has been achieved in the past.
>The point is, this program from CMU is *new*. It is a quantum leap
>beyond earlier AI programs. This is the first time an AI program
>has been unleashed on an unsuspecting world, and left to fend for itself.
>And it is doing very well.

Lyle, how could I possibly say, with confidence, anything more? What is
this new AI? How is it an advance over previous AI? Has it been subjected
to any independent evaluations? Again, all we have to go on are your
personal pronouncements.

I don't know you. If you represent CMU's Comp. Sci. department, and this
is an official announcement, please say so.

BTW, my not-insignificant business experience is that most breakthroughs
are achieved incrementally. In rare instances, a "quantum leap" may be
achieved when many individuals and organizations work in close
collaboration for an extended time (e.g., the first moon landing).

I'm sure AI will continue to improve. But I'm skeptical that anyone
working in relative isolation will suddenly discover a magic bullet. Does
anyone on this list know of a promising and significant AI technology
within reach of a "group of students"?

Ira Brodsky
Datacomm Research Company
Wilmette, Illinois