Turing test

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

Turing test, a procedure to test whether a computer is capable of humanlike thought. As proposed (1950) by the British mathematician Alan Turing, a person (the interrogator) sits with a teletype machine isolated from two correspondents—one is another person, one is a computer. By asking questions through the teletype and studying the responses, the interrogator tries to determine which correspondent is human and which is the computer. The computer is programmed to give deceptive answers, e.g., when asked to add two numbers together, the computer pauses slightly before giving the incorrect sum—to imitate what a human might do, the computer gives an incorrect answer slowly since the interrogator would expect the machine to give the correct answer quickly. If it proves impossible for the interrogator to discriminate between the human and the computer, the computer is credited with having passed the test.

views updated

Turing Test

The Turing Test was proposed by computer pioneer Alan M. Turing (19121954) to determine whether a computer program is intelligent. This modern interpretation of the so-called imitation game is based on a setup where a person, a computer, and an interrogator are in three separate rooms and connected via computer terminals. The task of the interrogator is to figure out by asking questions which of the two connected terminals is operated by the human and which is the test computer. The computer is considered to be intelligent if the interrogator fails to determine its identity. The Turing Test is recognized as a critical test for computer intelligence and, as of 2002, had not been passed by any computer.

See also Artificial Intelligence; Thinking Machines

thiemo krink

views updated

Turing test A test proposed by the mathematician and artificial-intelligence pioneer Alan Turing to decide whether an intelligent system has reached a level of competence comparable to that of human beings. The essential idea is to communicate with an unknown entity – by means of a keyboard and/or screen – and decide, on the basis of answers to questions, whether the responding agent is another person or a computer system. Many artificial-intelligence programs can pass the Turing test if restricted to a very severely limited domain, but asking general questions about the wider world of human experience soon exposes their shortcomings. Several variations of the test exist and it is still a topic of philosophical debate.