Turing Test Fail

Some people are claiming that some program passed the Turing Test:

No computer had ever previously passed the Turing Test, which requires 30 per cent of human interrogators to be duped during a series of five-minute keyboard conversations, organisers from the University of Reading said.

That’s not the Turing Test.The original test required that a computer should be able to fool an interrogator into thinking it is a man. The original test is flawed because it attempts to replace the need to explain how stuff works with just looking at behaviour. There has been no large increase in our knowledge about the software required to create new explanatory knowledge. The ability to create such knowledge is what set people apart from everything else. The best existing theory of knowledge, critical rationalism, is ignored by almost everybody, which means that people in the field are using false ideas to decide what problems to work on. So how are they going to succeed?

But the problem with the Turing Test has been made even worse by relaxing the terms of the test so much so that it no longer conveys any useful information. Five minutes is not a long time and so it would be difficult to push the computer to think about any particular issue.

There is an additional problem that people often over interpret stuff in a bid to be nice. For example, the people at the Gorilla Foundation claim they have ‘talked to’ a gorilla named Koko using American Sign Language. If you look at a transcript it looks like they are searching desperately for a meaningful interpretation of gibberish. The people conducting the Turing Test may be cutting the computer slack it doesn’t deserve.

About conjecturesandrefutations
My name is Alan Forrester. I am interested in science and philosophy: especially David Deutsch, Ayn Rand, Karl Popper and William Godwin.

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