Relevance and objections

Alan Turing believed that some day a machine would be able to pass the Turing test (repeatedly to rule out luck or flaws of the interrogator or witness). It must be noted that AI is useful regardless of failing on this test. Paradoxically, it is currently also beneficial that some `hard AI problem' are currently unsolved. It allows for alleviating automated abuseA.2.

In advance, along with the proposal, Turing has addressed several objections that people may have:

The objection of Penrose [Pen90] is mostly based on Searle's `Chinese room' argument and Gödel's mathematical argument. Turing defends his opinion, but inconclusively: ``Those who hold to the mathematical argument would, I think, mostly be willing to accept the imitation game as a basis for discussion.''.

The test assesses AI in the category of ``human intelligence'' (see table 1.1 in section 1.3.2). It is not so clear with the `thinks like' / `acts like' classification. When the machine acts like a human and if it passes the test there would be no way to tell to what degree it thinks like a human.

So far, the test has not been passed when all requirements were applied. This illustrates the difficulty of solving `hard AI problems'. It appears that Alan Turing realized this, he concluded his proposal as follows.

``We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.''

Perhaps one day, when plenty of work is finished, the machine would succeed. And when it does, what will the next challenge be? (see figure A.1)

Figure A.1: Turing Test 2.0. Courtesy of (CC ShareAlike license)
Image turing_test

Erik de Bruijn 2007-10-19