Monday, April 30, 2012

The #Turing Test and a thought experiment

I just came across a beautifully written piece in the New Yorker from last year called, Alan Turing's Apple. It does a lovely job of weaving Turing's experience in and out of contemporary times along with the Snow White fairy tale. At its heart its author, Amy Davidson, asks us to consider a thought experiment: if, in a Turing Test, a computer was asked if Turing's treatment that resulted in his death was fair, would a computer be as heartless as some people were in 1952?
    We tend to assume machines lack compassion and empathy, yet clearly some people do as well.