Monday, September 21, 2015

The Turing Test and Humans

The Turing  test is the famous  method for determining whether computers can think--can the computer's conversation with a person be so good it can't be distinguished from that of a human?

There was a piece I read today discussing other tests for distinguishing computers and humans.  But I want to discuss going the other way--distinguishing humans.  I'd suggest the only way to distinguish humans from other entities, whether they be computers or chimpanzees, is the genetic one.  By that I mean that a human is born of another human and contains DNA from one or more humans.

When you expand your mental image of "human" from a mature adult to include infants and the mentally and physically challenge I don't think there's a reliable performance test. The reverse Turing test doesn't work--many humans cannot converse, a few have no language at all.  So I think, rather than performance, the only test of humanity is the genetic history.

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