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Forget the Turing Test — There Are Better Ways of Judging AI


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robot looks out window

Credit: Reuters

Despite the media furor over reports last year that a chatbot had "passed" the Turing test, most artificial intelligence (AI) researchers no longer view the test, first outlined by Alan Turing more than half a century ago, as particularly useful. "There has been a shift to trying to replicate these more fundamental abilities on which intelligence is built," says University of Massachusetts, Amherst professor Erik Learned-Miller. He notes the more fundamental abilities include technologies such as computer vision, which he studies. Learned-Miller says significant gains have been made in the field, with some programs now performing as well or better than humans on certain tests of their ability to recognize faces and objects.

Other researchers are examining AI's ability to play complex games such as poker, another area in which programs have had recent success. However, even these gains are small steps toward true intelligence.

Olga Rusakovsky, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute, says although individual AI systems are making progress in certain visual tests, they remain a far cry from an intelligent machine. "To show true intelligence, machines will have to draw inferences about the wider context of an image and what might happen one second after a picture was taken," Rusakovsky says.

From New Scientist
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