CMST 1a03: Introduction to Communication
Alex Sévigny, PhD, APR, MCIPR (Winter Term, 2013)
ITC – Alan Turing “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”
The Imitation Game
Different ways of asking the question:
o A Gallup poll
The game is played with three people:
A woman, a man and an interrogator.
The woman, the man and the interrogator are in different
rooms. The interrogator asks questions. Then the man is
replaced with a computer. If the interrogator can’t distinguish
who is the computer and the man, then you have a thinking
If you need someone to repair something in your house, the
only way to know if it’s them is a voice of recognition – know
what they’re talking about
Critique of the New Problem
This seems to draw a solid line between human beings’
physical and mental capabilities. The object isn’t a humanoid
robot, but a “thinking machine”
The question/answer paradigm is insufficient but we can talk
about pretty much anything in a question and answer format,
that is that we can use language to talk about most human
It might be hard for the machine to do particularly human
things (e.g. win a beauty contest, run a race), but it is also hard
for the human to do things that machines do well... is this a
critique of the game?
The Machines Concerned in the Game
What sort of machine are we talking about? Engineers can use all of their imagination and technique to
build it but genetically engineering a human does not qualify.
Only digital computers can participate in the game because
they can mimic any other machine. Thus we can say that
computers are universal or virtual machines.
Contrary Views on the Main Question
The Theological Objection
o Only people have souls
But doesn’t this limit God?
o The “Heads in the Sand” Objection