Before thinking that computers will soon rule the world, the Touring Test is merely a simple computer test which analyses a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human being. It has been created by scientist Alan Turing in the ’50s to answer the question of whether or not a computer can ‘think’.
Having that said, computer engineers led by Russian Vladimir Veselov and Ukrainian Eugene Demchenko have presented Eugene Goostman, a computer designed to think as a ’13-year-old boy’, at the Touring Test 2014 competition in London. The artificial intelligence is said to be able to present its ‘preferences’, having it state to like hamburgers and candy, and state that its father is a ‘gynecologist’. These are merely some simple response examples, but its true skill stands in its ability to express all this information in a human-like manner.
This is how Goostman managed to convince at least 30% of the judges, it being the valid score in order to pass the test, having it be the first artificial intelligence to pass the Touring Test. Goostman made a similar attempt back in 2012, having it nearly passing it, but falling short at 29%. Professor Kevin Warwick from the University of Reading states that some people could claim the Touring Test has already been passed, having it been applied to events all over the world.
However, the professor added that the Touring Test 2014 event in London involved more simultaneous comparison tests ever before attempted, having all machines independently evaluated and, most importantly, the conversations are said to have been unrestricted. Veselov also notes that Goostman’s main strength, which most likely helped it win the competition, stands in its ‘age’. This is where the scientist explained that they have created Goostman to claim it knows everything, having its ‘age’ a perfectly reasonable negation prior to its claims.