The Iconic Turing Test Has Been 'Passed'

Monday, June 9, 2014

Eugene Goostman passes Turing Test

 Artificial Intelligence
The 65 year-old iconic Turing Test for artificial intelligence was passed for the very first time by supercomputer Eugene Goostman during Turing Test 2014 held at the renowned Royal Society in London this past weekend.




Eugene Goostman, a computer program pretending to be a young Ukrainian boy, successfully tricked enough humans to pass the iconic Turing test. The testing took place at the University of Reading.

The chatbot had previously taken first place in the Loebner prize two years ago.

"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."


The Turing Test — an intelligence test for determining if computers are indistinguishable from humans — is considered a landmark in the development of artificial intelligence. Computing pioneer Alan Turing said that a computer could be understood to be thinking if it passed the test.

Turing created the test in a 1950 paper, 'Computing Machinery and Intelligence'. In it, he said that because 'thinking' was difficult to define, what matters is whether a computer could imitate a real human being. It has since become a key part of the philosophy of artificial intelligence.

In the test, a human judge converse via a text interface with both a program and a human. The judge must deduce from the answers received whether the interaction is with a human or a program. A program passes the test if it convinces a judge that it is human in 30 percent of the conversations. Since software normally replies faster than a human, the replies are shown with controlled time intervals.

Alan Turing

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In a press release, Kevin Warwick, a Visiting Professor at the University of Reading and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research at Coventry University, said:
"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. It is fitting that such an important landmark has been reached at the Royal Society in London, the home of British Science and the scene of many great advances in human understanding over the centuries. This milestone will go down in history as one of the most exciting. 
"Some will claim that the Test has already been passed. The words Turing Test have been applied to similar competitions around the world. However this event involved the most simultaneous comparison tests than ever before, was independently verified and, crucially, the conversations were unrestricted. A true Turing Test does not set the questions or topics prior to the conversations. We are therefore proud to declare that Alan Turing's Test was passed for the first time on Saturday."
The chatbot, developed in Russia by Vladimir Veselov has the personality of a 13-year-old boy from Odessa named Eugene Goostman from Odessa. Along with his perceived youth, the fact that English is the chatbot's second language helps boost it's reality in the testing.

"Our main idea was that he can claim that he knows anything, but his age also makes it perfectly reasonable that he doesn't know everything," Veselov told the Independent. "We spent a lot of time developing a character with a believable personality."

The test, organised at the Royal Society, featured five programmes in total. Judges included Robert Llewellyn, who played robot Kryten in Red Dwarf, and Lord Sharkey, who led the successful campaign for Turing's posthumous pardon last year.

The success came on the 60th anniversary of Turing's death, on Saturday.


SOURCE  The Independent

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