Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Turing test possibly to be passed Feb 14-16, 2011

IBM announced plan, reported here in the New York Times, to place a computer and program called "Watson" into head-to-head gameplay against that sucker, Ken, and another past winner on Jeopardy. There is some room for debate, but I feel that if the machine wins, or even performs to a high level, then IBM will have made a huge step forward in answering the famed "Turing Test" for machine intelligence. In a nutshell, the test would have an interviewer hold a conversation with two clients, one machine, one human. If, from the replies, the difference between man and machine was nebulous, or impossible to discern, the machine has passed the test. In many ways, simply competing believably in this exercise on Jeopardy goes a long way to meeting the goal, if not fulfilling it. I may have to tune in...

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