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HAL, what’s a dubject?

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on October 5th, 02008

 

Next Sunday October 12th, six different programs will attempt to pass the computer intelligence Turing test (according to the guardian.co.uk).  This also marks a serious attempt to decide the $20,000 Long Bet between Ray Kurzweil and Mitch Kapor, as well as win the $100,000 Loebner Prize in Artificial Intelligence.  In the tests, a human questioner will get to question both a computer and human through a chatroom like text interface.  If the questioner guesses wrong or can’t decide which is human, the program will have passed the test.  Judging from the conversations below however I don’t think the machines have much of a chance this time around… (click though to the article and scroll down to find out which is human and which is machine)

Can you tell human from machine?

One of these conversations is between Professor Kevin Warwick (KW) and a human; the other between Warwick and a computer. Can you tell which is which?

Conversation one:

Subject: Hello. My name is Nick and I am a human.

KW: Are you happy being a human?

Subject: Yes, I am. Are you? Good. Then we are both happy.

KW: Yes, I am. Are you happy with your life at present?

Subject: Parts of it. I hate my job, but most people do, right?

KW: I’m OK with mine. What is your job?

Subject: I work as an ‘online internet advertising monitor’, which is fancy language for electronic filing. What do you do?

KW: I interrogate humans and machines.

Subject: Which ones do you prefer, humans or machines?

KW: Which do you prefer?

Subject: Hmm. Depends on for what purpose you mean.

KW: To go to a restaurant, for example?

Subject: Then I would much prefer going with a human.

Conversation two:

Subject: Hello, my name is Mike and I am a man.

KW: Are you happy being a human?

Subject: Judge, I’m a guy.

KW: Does that worry you?

Subject: Don’t worry, we’ll work everything through.

KW: Do you have worries then?

Subject: Let’s move on from that basis.

KW: Why?

Subject: Why? I like this subject.

KW: What is the subject, do you think?

Subject: What is the subject I wonder if I think? I know that it’s good to thonk about. Think deeplt about mysterious subjects.

KW: What mysterious subjects?

Subject: Think deeply about mysterious dubjects.

KW: What’s a dubject?

I can imagine the next line, “Dubject… Let me tell you about my dubject!” At which point the skin job stands up from the Voight-Kampff test and blows poor KW away…