June 10, 2014 by Ray Kurzweil
Two days ago, on June 8, 2014, the University of Reading announced that a computer program “has passed the Turing test for the first time.”
University of Reading Professor Kevin Warwick described it this way:
“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 more 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.” — Kevin Warwick, PhD
I have had a long-term wager with Mitch Kapor in which I predicted that a computer program would pass the Turing test by 2029 and he predicted that this would not happen, see links below.
This was the first long-term wager on the “Long Now” website. The bet called for $20,000 to be donated from us to the charity of the winner’s choice.
As a result, messages have been streaming in from around the world congratulating me for having won the bet.
However, I think this is premature. I am disappointed that Professor Warwick, with whom I agree on many things, would make this statement. There are several problems that I describe below, including a transcript of a conversation that I had with Eugene Goostman, the chatbot in question.