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By Neada Jane
June 10, 2014
By Neada Jane
June 10, 2014

In an era of technology firsts, it's hardly surprising that a computer is now capable of mirroring human intelligence. Over the weekend, a computer programme known as 'Eugene Goostman' proved itself capable of imitating the living when it was the first ever programme to pass the Turing Test. Eponymously named for its designer, British mathematician and cryptographer Alan Turing, no previous competitor had passed the test in its 65-year existence.

Needless to say, passing the Turing Test is no easy feat. To prove successful, at least 30 percent of the judges must be convinced that the competitor is human. During the Turing Test 2014 Competition over the weekend, one-third of the panel deemed Eugene Goostman just that.

Entered under the guise of a 13-year-old boy from the Ukraine, Eugene Goostman competed against 25 humans and other fellow programmes. The team behind Eugene Goostman comprised of one Russian and two Ukrainian programmers. Endowed with particulars that seemed just odd enough to qualify as human (a pet guinea pig, a gynecologist father), the long-awaited winning programme is actually a chatbot developed in 2001.

The ingenue in this case is found in the simplicity of approach. Rendering their entry ignorant by diminishing his supposed age, the chatbot’s programmers acknowledge their surprising strategy. One of Eugene Goostman’s creators, Vladimir Veselov revealed in a statement, "Our main idea was that he can claim that he knows anything, but his age also makes it perfectly reasonable that he doesn't know everything. We spent a lot of time developing a character with a believable personality."

Someone who claims to know it all but, in truth, knows little? No wonder they thought he was human.

Via The Guardian and PC World.

Published on June 10, 2014 by Neada Jane


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