Friday, February 13, 2009

Getting Computers To Think Like Us

Photo from Talking Desktop

From Search Magazine:

Philosophers can afford to be esoteric about what “thinking” and “human intelligence” really mean. Computer scientists, who build terminals and write programs that people actually interact with, have to be more pragmatic about what counts as smarts.

The most famous computer-centric definition of “intelligence” dates to 1950, when the Englishman Alan Turing proposed his well-known “Turing Test.” In it, a person would correspond with two entities on a computer screen, one a human, one a computer, and then be asked to identify which was which. If the computer fooled the human into selecting it 30 percent of the time, Turing suggested it could reasonably be called intelligent.

So far no artificial intelligence has cracked that mark in controlled tests. But as the five recent finalists for the annual Loebner Prize for Artificial Intelligence proved, it might not be long before we have to admit a computer to the ranks of intelligent beings.

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