Imitation versus communication: Testing for human-like intelligence

Minds and Machines 19 (2):237-254 (2009)
Turing’s Imitation Game is often viewed as a test for theorised machines that could ‘think’ and/or demonstrate ‘intelligence’. However, contrary to Turing’s apparent intent, it can be shown that Turing’s Test is essentially a test for humans only. Such a test does not provide for theorised artificial intellects with human-like, but not human-exact, intellectual capabilities. As an attempt to bypass this limitation, I explore the notion of shifting the goal posts of the Turing Test, and related tests such as the Total Turing Test, away from the exact imitation of human capabilities, and towards communication with humans instead. While the continued philosophical relevance of such tests is open to debate, the outcome is a different class of tests which are, unlike the Turing Test, immune to failure by means of sub-cognitive questioning techniques. I suggest that attempting to instantiate such tests could potentially be more scientifically and pragmatically relevant to some Artificial Intelligence researchers, than instantiating a Turing Test, due to the focus on producing a variety of goal directed outcomes through communicative methods, as opposed to the Turing Test’s emphasis on ‘fooling’ an Examiner.
Keywords Communication  Imitation Game  Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence  Turing Test
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References found in this work BETA
Robert French (2000). The Turing Test: The First Fifty Years. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4 (3):115-121.
Stuart M. Shieber (1994). Lessons From a Restricted Turing Test. Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery 37:70-82.

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