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Computer Passes Landmark Artificial Intelligence Test

Alexander Reed Kelly
Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

A program built by Russian experts is the first to pass the Turing Test, which requires that some observers be unable to tell the difference between it and a human — and academics are worried about the implications for cybercrime.

The program was named Eugene Goostman and presented as a 13-year-old boy from Ukraine. During its test at the Royal Society in London, it convinced 33 percent of its judges that it was human, 3 percent more than the test requires.

The Independent reports:

The programme’s success is likely to prompt some concerns about the future of computing, said Kevin Warwick, a visiting professor at the University of Reading and deputy vice-chancellor for research at Coventry University.

“In the field of Artificial Intelligence there is no more iconic and controversial milestone than the Turing Test, when a computer convinces a sufficient number of interrogators into believing that it is not a machine but rather is a human,” he said. “Having a computer that can trick a human into thinking that someone, or even something, is a person we trust is a wake-up call to cybercrime.

“The Turing Test is a vital tool for combatting that threat. It is important to understand more fully how online, real-time communication of this type can influence an individual human in such a way that they are fooled into believing something is true… when in fact it is not.”

The test takes its name from Alan Turing, a British computer scientist who helped crack Nazi communication codes during World War II and did pioneering work in artificial intelligence.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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