For the first time ever, a computer has passed the world's most "iconic" artificial intelligence test!
How, you ask?
By impersonating an attention-challenged thirteen-year-old.
The "Turing Test" measures a computer's ability to participate in human conversation.
In order to "pass" the test, the computer must participate in a five-minute, unscripted conversation with human judges, and at least 30% of the judges must mistake the bot for human.
Russian chatbot "Eugene Goostman" passed this test for the first time ever on June 8.
Unlike many programs, such as the famous ALICE, Eugene's conversation is deliberately error-ridden. Spelling and grammar mistakes, meant to simulate the writing of a Ukranian thirteen-year-old, mask problems with comprehension.
When truly lost, Eugene abandons his linguistic contortions and resorts to non-sequiturs.
At one point in a recorded interview, he totally ignores the question to declare "Damn! I’ve just recalled that I didn’t feed my guinea pig this morning."
Creator Vladimir Veselov explains that:
Eugene is a step forward for artificial intelligence.
However, the fact that Eugene's team won by impersonating a child who speaks English as a second language suggests that the science still has a long way to go.
Members of the public can chat with Eugene at princetonai.com. (Be warned: Eugene's new popularity means that the website can be slow to load).
Tell the little guy "hi" for us.