When the Turning Test was first posited, we viewed that as a terrifying and beautiful milestone. Today I see that it was in fact an evil milestone: when computers are able to pass the Turing Test, computers will be used to sell empty seats on the Caribbean Cruise lines.
I got a robocall where the caller was a robot that responded to my questions about cruises before I figured out it was a machine.
The robot call didn’t immediately start spewing about cruises, instead it waited for me to respond. And then the response was contextual… Only when I remembered the stupid robot voice did I realize what was going on.
The Turing Test is an attempt to articulate when a computer is intelligent without trying to understand if a computer is intelligent. The goal was to sidestep the philosophical debates that made the engineers trying to build stuff cry.
The hope was that an intelligent computer could make better decisions than machines because it could make decisions faster with more information in the best case, and in the worst case we could have infinite free labor to free man to have more time for himself.
Except we, computer scientists, lacked vision.
Like the folks in computational photography believed that unless you could make pictures more realistic, there was no point in the technology.
I mean who wants a picture that has been made to look worse….
AI missed its true calling. The Turning Test is really about sales people calling you 24×7 to irritate you with offers you don’t want.