CMST 1a03: Introduction to Communication
Dr. Terry Flynn (Winter 2012)
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 machine.
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
• 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 experience.
• 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”