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Update – There has been some controversy over the test leading us to believe that the test might not be as legitimate as it claims to be.

Can you tell when you are chatting with a computer or a human? Do you think you are able to perceive the differences in responses? Well in a recent Turing Test, it seems that a computer managed to fool a about a third of the judges, which apparently makes it the first time a computer has successfully passed the Turing Test.

For those unfamiliar with the Turing Test, it is a test named after Alan Turing, in which a computer/machine has to try and fool at least 30% of humans that the computer is a real person, and not just a machine giving out scripted responses. In this case, a Russian-based team claims to have created a program that has managed to successfully deceive 33% of the judges, making the test a successful one.

33% of those who judged the program ended up believing that the machine was a real-life 13-year old boy from Odessa, Ukraine. Now we should note that in the past, there are instances where machines/bots have reportedly passed the test successfully, so what makes this particular program the first ever?

Well according to Professor Ken Warwick, a visiting professor at the University of Reading (which also organized the event), “Some will claim that the Test has already been passed. The words Turing Test have been applied to similar competitions around the world. However this event involved the most simultaneous comparison tests than ever before, was independently verified and, crucially, the conversations were unrestricted.”

He adds, “A true Turing Test does not set the questions or topics prior to the conversations. We are therefore proud to declare that Alan Turing’s Test was passed for the first time on Saturday.” According to Vladimir Veslov, the man behind the program, the reason their program succeeded this time was due to the dialog controller which made it more human-like. It’s an interesting concept and if you’d like to check out the bot for yourself and see if it could possibly fool you into thinking it was a real boy, head on over to its website and take it for a spin.

Filed in Robots..

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