The Bombe

Kapor’s Argument

The essence of the Turing Test revolves around whether a computer can successfully impersonate a human. The test is to be put into practice under a set of detailed conditions which rely on human judges being connected with test subjects (a computer and a person) solely via an instant messaging system or its equivalent. That is, the only information which will pass between the parties is text.

To pass the test, a computer would have to be capable of communicating via this medium at least as competently as a person. There is no restriction on the subject matter; anything within the scope of human experience in reality or imagination is fair game. This is a very broad canvas encompassing all of the possibilities of discussion about art, science, personal history, and social relationships. Exploring linkages between the realms is also fair game, allowing for unusual but illustrative analogies and metaphors. It is such a broad canvas, in my view, that it is impossible to foresee when, or even if, a machine intelligence will be able to paint a picture which can fool a human judge. . . .

Kurzweil’s Argument

The Significance of the Turing Test.

The implicit, and in my view brilliant, insight in Turing’s eponymous test is the ability of written human language to represent human-level thinking. The basis of the Turing test is that if the human Turing test judge is competent, then an entity requires human-level intelligence in order to pass the test. The human judge is free to probe each candidate with regard to their understanding of basic human knowledge, current events, aspects of the candidate’s personal history and experiences, as well as their subjective experiences, all expressed through written language. As humans jump from one concept and one domain to the next, it is possible to quickly touch upon all human knowledge, on all aspects of human, well, humanness. . . .

(Read more at:


{Photography by Tim Gage}

Tagged with:  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>