Tag Archives: A.M. Turing

Artificial Intelligence


A.M. Turing is recognized prominently for his ideas regarding artificial intelligence.  He was considerably interested in this question, “Can machines think?”  Turing was an English mathematician and a truly gifted computer scientist.  In the piece, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” Turing was mostly interested in a game he refers to as the “Imitation Game.”  He supposed that if an interrogator could not distinguish between a machine and a human being then perhaps the public could accept the idea that machines are capable of reasoning.  We now refer to this imitation game as “The Turing Test.”  When Turing uses the word “machine” he means precisely a digital computer.

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Turing’s Bicentennial Man

In “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”, A.M Turing investigates the question of whether or not machines can think. He creates an “imitation game” in which an interrogator communicates between two separate room through writing and must figure out which is the human and which is the machine. Turing explains how the best strategy for the digital computer would be to “provide answers that would naturally be given by a man” as this would make it appear human. This immediately reminded me of the old AOL chatbot Smarterchild. For those of you unfamiliar with this screen name, Smarterchild was an online robot that you could IM and have almost human conversations with.

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