Intelligentsia of AI will gather to come up with a battery of alternatives to the traditional Turing test
It was billed as an epochal event in humanity’s history: For the first time a computer had proved itself to be as smart as a person. And befitting the occasion, the June story generated headlines all around the world. In reality, it was all a cheesy publicity stunt orchestrated by an artificial-intelligence buff in England. But there was an upside. Many of the world’s best-known AI programmers were so annoyed by the massive coverage, which they deemed entirely misguided, that they banded together. They intend to make sure the world is never fooled by false AI achievement again. The result is a daylong workshop, “Beyond the Turing Test,” where attendees aim to work out an alternative to the current test. The workshop will be held this coming Sunday in Austin at the annual convention of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
Whether a particular computer program is “intelligent,” as opposed to simply being “useful,” is arguably an unanswerable question. But computer scientists have nonetheless been asking it ever since 1950, when Alan Turing wrote “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” and proposed his now-famous test. The test is like a chat session, except the human doesn’t know if it’s a computer or a fellow person on the other end. A computer that can fool the human can be adjudged to be intelligent or, as Turing put it, “thinking.”