Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Judges Are Convinced Computer Program is Human

Image: Alan Touring

  Good Day World!

The following story is about a British mathematician, Alan Turing, who helped win WW II, but wasn’t recognized for his genius because he was a homosexual.

This story is also about the “Turing Test” and how someone finally passed it.

Here’s what happened:

Judges in England were fooled into thinking the computer program they were conversing with was a human — making it the first to pass the 65-year-old Turing Test.

"Eugene Goostman" is not a 13-year-old boy, but 33 percent of the people who partook in five minute keyboard conversations with the computer program at the Royal Society in London thought it was, according to The University of Reading, which organized the test.

The Turing Test is based on “the father of modern computer science” Alan Turing’s question, “Can Machines Think?”


British mathematician Alan Turing designed an electromechanical device known as the "bombe,” which allowed a team code-named “Ultra” to decode intercepted German messages. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill credited "Ultra" with winning the war.

Turing wasn’t lauded though. Instead, he was barred from working with the British government and charged as a criminal with “gross indecency” because he was gay.

The trailblazer killed himself with a poisoned apple at 41-years-old, tormented by the law and impossibility of exoneration.

Queen Elizabeth II granted amercy pardon to Turing in 2013, but he never lived to see anything close to the seemingly-unrealistic machine he had dreamed up decades before its creation.


If a computer is mistaken for a human by more than 30 percent of judges, it passes the test, but no computer has accomplished the feat — until now.

“The event is particularly poignant as it took place on the 60th anniversary of Turing's death, nearly six months after he was given a posthumous royal pardon,” the university’s statement said.

Turing was instrumental in cracking Germany's Enigma code during World War II and came up with the concept of a “universal machine” that could act and think like a human. (Full Story)

Time for me to walk on down the road…


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