This week a computer program reportedly passed the ‘Turing test’ for the first time, tricking people into believing it is human. This was part of a competition run by Reading University to commemorate the 60th anniversary of death of the test’s creator: Alan Turing. Here is your Quick Fire Science on the Turing test...
- In 1950, Alan Turing developed a way to test a machine’s ability to mimic human behaviour. He called this ‘The Turing Test.’
- In the test, a human judge writes to a subject in another room. This subject can be a person or a machine.
- The aim of the test is for the judge to suss out whether the subject is human or machine, whilst the computer tries to dupe the judge into thinking it’s a real person.
- When creating this test, Turing made a prediction. He thought by the year 2000, machines would be able to fool 30% of human judges in a five minute test.
- Versions of ELIZA, now known as chatterbots, are found on the internet today and they continue to trick people into believing they are human in the hope of gaining sensitive personal data.