Broke the Turing Test

There have been reports that some AI “passed” the Turing Test. Let’s delve into this.

First, let’s start with what the Turing Test is, or even who Turing was. Alan Turing established many of the theoretical foundations of modern computing–in the 1940’s. He was largely responsible for hacking German secret codes. He was way ahead of his time–60 years or so.

The Turing Test works like this–if you have some artificial intelligence inside a computer chatting with you and you have some person chatting to you through a computer, can you tell the difference? If you can, the AI has failed the Turing Test. If you can’t, the AI has passed the Turing Test.

So what about this AI?  “…the Eugene Goostman program managed to persuade 33 percent of people that it was a 13-year-old boy from Odessa, Ukraine.” That’s the trick here. First of all, that’s not the highest bar in the world, 33%. If three people examined the system, one of them got duped. Still, though, it’s larger than nothing. I’m waiting on the research paper to see how significant the bar is. Sometimes caveats like this are required in AI research.

However, the real gimmick is the “a 13-year-old boy from Odessa, Ukraine” part. If you can’t make your AI fluent, make your AI simulate someone who isn’t. I don’t think that’s really what Turing intended, but I’d like to congratulate Veselov et al. on finding a loophole in the test. It took 65 years.