When we talk about how would you decide if a machine is intelligent, then the first response that comes to mind is ‘can it pass the Turing test?‘
But when we go back and see the historical facts, Alen Turning did not specify the exact version we are using today. When he was confronted with the question ‘Can machines think ?‘ he believed the question was too vague therefore proposed a game instead, ‘The Imitation Game‘
The scenario is as follows.
There are three people in three separate rooms. A man. A woman. An interrogator (gender doesn’t matter).
None of them knows each other’s gender. Both woman and man can communicate only with the interrogator and communication happens through typed medium (no voices). Typed messages are passed between the interrogator and the participants.
The interrogator ask questions from the participants and the goal of the participants is to convince the interrogator that he/she is the woman. So the woman will answer naturally but the man will have to act as a woman in order to convince the interrogator.
Now what Turing proposed is;
if we replace the man with a machine, a machine who can imitate a human well enough that the interrogator at least 30% of the time on average cannot recognize that he/she is talking with a machine; then the general people would be inclined to believe it as a thinking machine.
(30% is because if the interrogator guessed randomly he would have guessed its a machine 33% of the time since it can be only one of three choices; man,woman and machine)
There are some issues which Turing hasn’t specified such as whether the interrogator should be aware that one of the participants can be a machine, or whether he would/should continue to believe there are only a man and a woman. But that is a topic of discussion for another day. I just wanted to share the original version of the the Turing test.
Note: The test in Turing Own description goes like this. Turing Test – How Turing Described
We will take a closer look at Turing Test in : Fake it till you make it approach in AI