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  • Jun 10th, 2014 @ 9:09am

    Nonsense personified

    An excellent review, TD. I've long been puzzled that Warwick would continue embarrassing himself (and U Reading) with his media antics. It's hard to imagine he could remain oblivious to the disrepute he's earned.

    In reflection, I think this story is a great illustration of the inability of most news sources to address nontrivial science/tech stories. If such a nonstory gets wide coverage from serious news sources (like the Washington Post), you have to wonder whether they're also inadequate to address more complex and more important fare like global warming, science education, or tech-based threats to society, like Snowden's "shots across the bow" forewarn.

  • Jun 10th, 2014 @ 8:49am

    Re: the forest is trees

    I think it would take little additional work for the IBM Watson software that won at Jeopardy to generate short responses that most people would identify as human. I give credit to IBM for not shooting at so trivial a target.

    If someone were to design a system expressly to succeed only at the Turing Test, then I'd agree with you that it would be as simple as is needed to win. But that would be a terrible waste of effort if the greater goal were to advance the science of AI.

    If someone were serious about building strong AI, by the time someone proposes using their software for a Turing Test, it's likely already to be grossly overqualified. For example, I suspect Siri, Google Now, and Cordana could all beat some sort of Turing Test (perhaps after minimal tweaking). But they're far larger than necessary for merely competing in a Turing Test, and that's because they were designed for an entirely different purpose.

    Success at a Turing Test will be an afterthought for any interesting or useful strong AI venture.