Chatterbot Collection

Artificial stupidity, Part 2

If Hugh Loebner’s contest is just hokum, and the Turing Test has outlived its usefulness, why should we care about it or its various squabbling participants?

A vocal camp in the brainy “philosophy of mind” profession believes that the Turing test should be relegated to the history books, but I’m going to assert axiomatically that the test, as it is generally understood by ordinary humans like you and me, is interesting. The question of whether computers can successfully pose as human beings has obsessed writers, filmmakers and computer scientists for decades. Therefore, without getting sucked into a philosophical vortex about the nature of minds, machines, intelligence and so forth, all we need to find out — if we want to know if the Loebner competition matters — is whether there exists a more respectable variant of the Turing test. As far as I can determine, there doesn’t. The Turing test is, as it were, state-of-the-art.

Category : Articles
Year : 2003
Submitted : 6th, August 2008