The Trouble with the Turing Test

Alan Turing, the father of modern computer science, was a British mathematician, logician, and cryptographer. In 1950 he published a 28-page paper in the British quarterly Mind called “Computing Machinery and Intelligence.” The paper is better known by most as “Can Machines Think?”, the title it was given when in 1956 it was republished in the much wider-read The World of Mathematics. The significance and continuing influence of the ideas presented by Turing in this seminal work cannot be overstated, and his modest proposal of a test suitable for judging if a computer is thinking has become the proverbial brass ring that has eluded and frustrated AI researchers ever since.

In the Winter 2006 edition of The New Atlantis, writer Mark Halpern, an accomplished software designer and programmer, thoughtfully re-examines Turing’s landmark paper, the much lauded “Turing Test,” the Loebner Prize, and the broken promises of AI.

Read “The Trouble with the Turing Test” at

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