MIT 1700 Lecture 4: Alan Turing and the Turing Test
MIT 1700 Lecture 4: Alan Turing and the Turing Test

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Western University
Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2200F/G
Kane Faucher

MIT 1700 Lecture Week 4 January 25, 2011 Alan Turing and the Turing Test - According to him machines and humans can think the same, there’s no difference. Not a lot of people were happy with this so he answers 9 objections that and prove that they can think similarly: - Theological - Thought is the product of an immortal soul. Souls are given by god only to humans. He answers: the prejudices of an unscientific past that relied on scripture have been erroneous (believing the earth was flat, etc.) There. - Head in Sand - The day will never come that machines will surmount human intelligence. He counters: This is a prejudice of wanting to preserve our ‘specialness’ thus a belief in superiority of human thinking can not admit to the facts of computing. We have enormous egos so we won’t believe that machines can do what we can do. - Mathematical - computers are limited and thus not like us. He counters: we are also limited. No one can answer every single question put to him or her. - Consciousness - There’s still a lingering mystery as to what consciousness really is. He counters: consciousness isn’t locatable as such. You can’t communicate consciousness. - Disability - Computers can’t enjoy desserts or life, or make mistakes. The fact that we can enjoy Ice Cream is what makes us human. He counters: This assumes that computers in their current form will always be ugly and repetitive. Computers may be able to enjoy things one day. - Continuity of Nervous System - Our neurons don’t behave like switches in a computer. Turing counters: The test measures communication outputs, not the internal structure of computers compared to human brains. - Lady Lovelace - Computers can’t do anything it isn’t programmed to do, so limited in response capabilities. Turing counters: So are humans. We are limited in response capabilities too. To say that a machine can not produce surprise because it’s bound by rules is stupid. That shouldn’t set limits to surprise. - Behavioural Informality - Behaviour is bound by rules. Turing counters: the task is one of human imitation, not one that tries to replicate human behaviour. Why would we expect the computer responses to be uniform, shouldn’t they be as unique as humans? - eg. Jabberwacky J.C.R. Licklider - Soviet Union launched Sputnik during the Cold War. - ARPA launched by U.S to counter the Russians (?) - Computers at this time (1950’s) operated by batch processing: give it a problem, spits out results a long time later. - Licklider: What if we could think alongside out computers in real time? He developed SAGE (Semi Automatic Ground Environment System) which was complex network connected by phone lines to combat centers running on new digital machines. - Delivered real time info on what was going on. - Manifesto: Man Computer Symbiosis MIT 1700 Lecture Week 4 January 25, 2011 - Our future will be run by the best minds and the best computers (best of both worlds) - But what’s the use of a super powerful computer that only works for one person? Licklider said the future was all about computers replacing us, as a nucleus of a new civilization. - Libraries would be accessible anywhere and publication wouldn’t take so long. To connect info without being too centralized or diversified in disciplines. This prediction came true. - In a traditional library there was too much info loss. Some disciplines have terminology that are similar in each discipline, but if you only look in one section you won’t find a really good article that might be in a different section. - Some books were only published in Russian, French. - Licklider wanted to link information. You may forget the name of the Author, but an integrated future library would tell you the name of it. Libraries in 1960’s didn’t help you out this much. - He envisioned a true ARPAnet. Precursor to the Internet. - Funded by US Military - Innovations from ARPA include mouse, keyboard, personal computer, computer networking. - ARPAnet can facilitate synergy: working towards a common purpose or cause. - By networking computers together we could share info with each other in real time. - You can send/receive simultaneously. - ARPAnet went online in 1969 in UCLA. First attempt crashed. - We can potentially share info as a commmunity. Digital Renaissance would take awhile to impact us all. Marvin Minsky - Maybe there would come a day when we’d have to program AI. -Minsky says we should make machines that think like children. Their interest was in discovering how children learn. - Intelligence is an interconnected number of millions of agents. You learn through communication with other agents and environment. - Computers crash. When a computer is given two contradicting instances of equal value it gets stuck in a loop and then crashes. Binary Yes/No system crashes. - When we come to a contradiction in our thought, do we crash? No. This tells us that we don’t think in a Binary way. We can always get a 3rd party to help us out with a decision. We can adapt to situations that are unforseen. When we can’t make a decision we can appeal to someone else. - A computer is self contained and can’t appeal to outside source. Solution? Network computers so that if it ever gets stuck, it can appeal to another computer programmed slightly differently. Millions of computers connected to one another, the sum total of those computers would be like a brain, capable of making de
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