AAARGH A COMPUTER HASN’T PASSED THE SODDING TURING TEST, IT WASN’T THE FIRST TIME, AND IT WASN’T A SUPERCOMPUTER, AAAAAARGH!!!!
No, seriously, those “supercomputer passes Turing Test” news stories that *EVERYONE* is running are nonsense. The bot in question, “Eugene Goostman” is not a supercomputer, it’s just a chatbot, no different from ELIZA or Parry. It could easily run on your mobile phone, if unlike me you have one.
And it didn’t “pass the Turing test”. It won the “Turing test competition”, which is different. They have a criterion of convincing 30% of people in a five minute conversation, which is not the same in any way as Turing’s actual test, which involves a computer convincing people it’s a man as often as a woman could, or a woman as often as a man could, and doesn’t have an arbitrary five-minute time limit.
It’s not the first time it’s won it either. The same software — the *exact same program* — won the Turing Test competition in 2012. There it only convinced 29%, rather than 30%, of judges, but given the small number of judges AND THE FACT THAT IT’S THE SAME PROGRAM that’s just statistical noise, not a new result.
It also only manages to get even that score, under conditions in no way comparable to Turing’s, by being programmed to simulate not the adult that Turing talked about, but a thirteen-year-old boy whose first language isn’t English.
This is no more “passing the Turing test” than running a hundred yards in thirty seconds is running a four-minute mile.
I think I’m better now…