Sunday, October 12, 2008

New Test Shows Computers Not Yet Able To Fool Humans, But Getting Closer

Julie Farby - AHN Reporter

(AHN)-While computers may not yet have intelligence capable of rivaling humans, they are not so far behind, a new test shows.

In what the scientific community is hailing as a major breakthrough, six computers were able to hold a conversation with a human in a "real-time chat."

The experiment, called the Turing Test, after British mathematician Alan Turing, featured six Artificial Conversational Entities (ACEs) trying to trick human interrogators into thinking they were also human. Although each ACE managed to fool at least one of their human interrogators, none were able to pass the standard set by Turing in 1950, whose computer fooled 30 percent of the human interrogators.

The machine closest to matching Turing's record of 30 percent was a computer named Elbot, who was able to trick 20 percent of the human interrogators into thinking they were communicating with a person.

Despite falling just short of Turing's record, the competition was considered a success, with scientists optimistic that the record will be broken soon.

University of Reading's School of Systems Engineering Professor Kevin Warwick, who organized the test, said, "This has been a very exciting day with two of the machines getting very close to passing the Turing Test for the first time."

"This demonstrates how close machines are getting to reaching the milestone of communicating with us in a way in which we are comfortable. That eventual day will herald a new phase in our relationship with machines, bringing closer the time in which robots start to play an active role in our daily lives," he added.

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