A computer algorithm recently convinced human judges from the Royal Society of London that it was a 13-year-old boy from Ukraine, passing the Turing test for artificial intelligence.
The Turing test was devised in 1950 by computer scientist Alan Turing to determine a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior indistinguishable from that of a human.
The test requires that at least 30 percent of human interrogators believe they are interacting with a human during a series of five-minute keyboard conversations. A machine and a human answer text-based questions simultaneously and the judges must decide which one is providing the answers.
The software program “Eugene Goostman” convinced 33 percent of the judges that it was human.
Turing test was amazing. Did 10 sessions of 5 minutes, 2 screens, 1 human 1 machine. I guessed correctly 4 times. Clever little robot fellow
— Robert Llewellyn (@bobbyllew) June 6, 2014
While this represents a milestone in the field of artificial intelligence, some commentators are questioning the validity of using a child who speaks English as a second language to dupe the judges. Creating code that can replicate natural language, however, is no small feat.