While we take for granted the capabilities of modern computer systems, the title of this column is the central theme of Computing Machinery and Intelligence written in 1950 by Professor Alan Turing. You may have heard of the “Turing Test,” which was created by the Professor with the intent that we (humans) would at some point in time be unable to distinguish between a human and machine response given the same set of questions. This level of machine thinking is distinguished by Turing in what he calls an “Imitation Game.”¹
This Imitation Game he describes (keep in mind this is over half a century ago) can be visualized like this:
The interrogator would pose a series of blind questions to the man and woman and try to gauge which of the subjects is the man and which is the woman, for example.
C: Will X please tell me the length of his or her hair?
Subject X: “My hair is shingled, and the longest strands are about nine inches long.”²
The Imitation Game would then replace one of the subjects with a computer and try to trick the interrogator into believing the computer was human based on the series of responses. In his model, the parties would communicate through typed questions and responses, with one of the parties attempting to aid the interrogator and the other using various responses to trick him or her.
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¹A. M. Turing (1950) Computing Machinery and Intelligence. P. 433
²A. M. Turing (1950) Computing Machinery and Intelligence. P. 433
³A. M. Turing (1950) Computing Machinery and Intelligence. P. 442
Article published by Thadeus Suzenski. It originally appeared on SAP Analytics and has been republished with permission.
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About Thadeus Suzenski
Thadeus Suzenski is Senior Legal Counsel for SAP SE and is a member of both the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar. While his current position predominately involves both drafting and negotiating software services transactions, he also manages field-marketing legal issues and assists with pre-litigation for regulated industries. In addition to his legal functions, Thadeus is charged with writing about Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning for the company’s Digitalist Magazine. Previous positions at SAP include roles in both Business Operations and Project Management.
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