Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagJoseph Weisenbaum

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Robotic hand using wooden geometrical shapes at during machine learning. 3d illustration.

Why the Turing Test Is Becoming Obsolete

Chatbots can easily pass the test without doing any thinking at all

Princeton psychology prof Philip Johnson-Laird and predictive analyst Marco Ragni (Chemnitz) propose a new type of IQ test for machines. In their paper, Johnson-Laird and Ragni argue that the Turing test was never a good measure of machine intelligence in the first place, as it fails to address the process of human thinking. “Given that such algorithms do not reason in the way that humans do, the Turing test and any others it has inspired are obsolete,” they write. Sarah Wells, Is the Turing Test Dead? Researchers wonder whether improved large language models require new tests for machine intelligence, IEEE Spectrum, November 30, 2023 The Turing test, was first proposed in 1950 by computer pioneer Alan Turing (1912–1954) as the Read More ›

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Businessman with a computer monitor head and question marks

Artificial Intelligence Understands by Not Understanding

The secret to writing a program for a sympathetic chatbot is surprisingly simple…

I’ve been reviewing philosopher and programmer Erik Larson’s The Myth of Artificial Intelligence. See my two earlier posts, here and here. With natural language processing, Larson amusingly retells the story of Joseph Weizenbaum’s ELIZA program, in which the program, acting as a Rogerian therapist, simply mirrors back to the human what the human says. Carl Rogers, the psychologist, advocated a “non-directive” form of therapy where, rather than tell the patient what to do, the therapist reflected back what the patient was saying, as a way of getting the patient to solve one’s own problems. Much like Eugene Goostman, whom I’ve already mentioned in this series, ELIZA is a cheat, though to its inventor Weizenbaum’s credit, he recognized from the get-go that it was a cheat. Read More ›