Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Turing Test is a machine that tests its ability to demonstrate human behavior. In the article Who’s Afraid of the Turing Test? Robert M. French expresses his opposing view of the Turing Test. French stated that no machine would be able to pass the Turing Test since a machine cannot simulate human intelligence without sharing human experience. I found French’s thinking to be very fascinating because if a machine can pass the Turing Test and is intelligent, then does this mean that it can think? Being intelligent and having the ability to think are two very different capacities. In comparing Artificial Intelligence to the complex human brain, I personally agree with Robert French that a robot would need human experience to think like one and if it were to think, I do not think that it would be able to have feelings like a human would.

After listening to the Radiolab podcast Talking to Machines, this question of machines being able to think comes into discussion. These machines used keywords to simulate responses for conversation and were thought to possibly be therapy of the future. One man fell in love with a ‘Russian girl’ and later found out that she was a robot when he tested sending random letters like, mjafhzmrw, and would receive normal responses that overlooked his gibberish type. Robert Epstein invented the cleverbot. His motivation behind this invention was to help him find a date. The cleverbot was interesting and different from the other aforementioned machines because it was not disguising itself to be human to fool people, it outright states that it is a robot. It was interesting to test cleverbot since it has a database of past conversations. By saying something completely absurd, such as, “An asteroid hit my house this morning,” cleverbot responded, “I woke up at 1:00 P.M this afternoon.” This shows that cleverbot cannot respond well to new situations. Moreover, this demonstrates the limits of a robot’s intelligence and inability to think like a human.

This podcast makes me think about the world of online dating. Knowing several friends that that use online dating websites, it makes me wonder if they have ever conversed with a robot and was fooled that it was a real person. Have they tested it with sending random letters or stating an absurd sentence? This also makes me wonder if I would be able to distinguish a robot from a real person through online messaging conversations.

Article Link:
Radiolab Podcast Link:

1 comment:

Aliciapeas said...

After reading your post, it makes me think of the new function of iphone 4s - Siri. Siri lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. In the advertising, apple says that Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. However, it is clear that Siri's not a real artificial intelligence. When you ask "her" something and she comes back with a witty answer, but she really doesn't actually "understand" what you said in any meaningful way. Apple is constantly updating Siri's phrases and responses, which means that "her" answers will only get more appropriate over time. I really don't believe that eventually siri can start thinking, but I do think that with the improvement of technology, siri will be extremely witty with her responses to a point it's almost like human. After all, it is human that do the thinking, and making a machine to improve and change our life styles.

The mistake or weakness about the turing test is that itself is a machine made by human.

"Turing himself did not explicitly state that the Turing test could be used as a measure of intelligence, or any other human quality. He wanted to provide a clear and understandable alternative to the word "think", which he could then use to reply to criticisms of the possibility of "thinking machines" and to suggest ways that research might move forward"