Tags

, , , , ,

Turing-statue-full

You may have heard that the Turing Test, that old test of machine intelligence proposed by pioneering mathematician Alan Turing in 1950, has been passed (or at least claimed to have been passed) by computer bots emulating human responses to questions.

What you may not have heard, though, is how profoundly bizarre Alan Turing’s original proposed test was. Much like the Uncanny Valley, the Turing Test is a seed of an idea that’s been warped and reinterpreted into scientific canon. The University of Reading deserves to be ridiculed for claiming that its zany publicity stunt is a groundbreaking milestone in AI research. But the test it’s desecrating deserves some scrutiny, too.

“Turing never proposed a test in which a computer pretends to be human”, says Karl MacDorman, an associate professor of human-computer interaction at Indiana University. “Turing proposed an imitation game in which a man and a computer compete in pretending to be a woman”.

It’s right there in the second paragraph of Turing’s landmark 1950 paper, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”, published in 1950 in the journal Mind. He begins by describing a scenario where a man and a woman would both try to convince the remote, unseen interrogator that they are female, using type-written responses or by speaking through an intermediary. The real action, however, comes when the man in replaced by a machine. “Will the interrogator decide wrongly as often when the game is played like this as he does when the game is played between a man and a woman?” asks Turing. (1)

Thinking like a computer is easy.
Most humans do it.
Thinking like a human is difficult.
Few humans achieve it.
Understanding how women think is truly impossible.
A handful of men understand them and I sure even God would have problems in that.

Truly free is only the thought that is illogical.
Because the whole world is illogical.
Only the paradox is inspiring.
And what could be more paradoxical than a woman?
Logic is based on axioms which are based on… nothing?
Women used to be the godesses to which we believed.
We have stopped worshiping the illogical.
And our logic has drowned us.

We need to breath again.
Turing tried to show the way.
But we killed him anyway.

Science. The art of mainstream.

Advertisements