This my friends is one of the most terrifying advents in technology I can think of, the age of SKYNET and thinking machines is here!
For the first time in history not one but 5 machines have been able to not only trick people into thinking they are human but pass one of the most complex tests to benchmark a ‘thinking machine’ the ‘Turing’ test.
Five machines were recently tested by the Royal Society in central London on the 60th anniversary of the tests creation to see whether the machines could trick humans into believing they were human during a 5 minute unscripted conversation.
Judges were sat down in front of computers to hold an unplanned and unscripted chat with what they thought was another person and these five ‘thinking’ machines passed the tests 33% of the time. This is the first time that machines have ever passed the ‘Turing Test’
The machines that were tested were created by Russian-born Vladimir Veselov and Ukrainian Eugene Demchenko. The Turing test which was named after its famous inventor during world war 2 measures the ability of a machine to ‘think’. Wikipedia describes the entire process as follows;
The Turing test is a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. In the original illustrative example, a human judge engages in natural languageconversations with a human and a machine designed to generate performance indistinguishable from that of a human being. All participants are separated from one another. If the judge cannot reliably tell the machine from the human, the machine is said to have passed the test. The test does not check the ability to give the correct answer to questions; it checks how closely the answer resembles typical human answers. The conversation is limited to a text-only channel such as a computer keyboard and screen so that the result is not dependent on the machine’s ability to render words into audio.
The test was introduced by Alan Turing in his 1950 paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” which opens with the words: “I propose to consider the question, ‘Can machines think?’” Because “thinking” is difficult to define, Turing chooses to “replace the question by another, which is closely related to it and is expressed in relatively unambiguous words.” Turing’s new question is: “Are there imaginable digital computers which would do well in theimitation game?” This question, Turing believed, is one that can actually be answered. In the remainder of the paper, he argued against all the major objections to the proposition that “machines can think
Alan Turing through his immense intelligence was able to help end World War 2 by cracking codes and was shamefully chemically castrated by society for not conforming to what they considered ‘normal behaviour’.
The ability for machines to think and hold natural conversation will no doubt open up both an interesting and terrifying future for the human race. Machines will literally be able to teach our children, they will replace low-cost telemarketers in third world countries and even more terrifying could be used for cyber crime to terrorize the world.
Will the police forces of the future be human or machine? When we go to war next will it be against another country or will it be a war against the machines? How far away are we from seeing the next evolution of the drone program. Soon we will have machines that are not only armed to the teeth and able to withstand combat conditions but machines that think, calculate and project the battle to win every time!