Are Computers Really Becoming Human?
From the Matrix series to I, Robot, us humans are obsessed with the idea of robots taking over the world. But now, it actually may become a terrifying reality…
That’s right. It has finally happened. A supercomputer has passed the Turing test. It convinced a panel of judges that it was a 13-year-old boy.
But what is the Turing test?
It is a test, created by Alan Turing in 1950, which determines whether a computer possesses artificial intelligence using a human interrogator.
Basically the tester uses a computer to direct questions to two anonymous respondents. One of the respondents would be human and the other a computer. A number of trials would be run and if the tester could not identify the computer more than 70 percent of the time, the computer would be classed as intelligent.
The supercomputer, dubbed “Eugene Goostman”, is the first to pass such a test, convincing 33 percent of the judges that it was human.
A wake-up call
A number of experts have claimed that this result poses a serious threat to us and could make us more susceptible to cyber-crime. Computers could be set up to automatically send genuine-sounding spam messages. Message us to convince us to sell them our eBay items. Impersonate our friends on Facebook. Target teenagers.
Actually, the more you think about it, the scarier the prospect becomes. When having a conversation with ChatBots such as Smarterchild (oh, back in the days of MSN Messenger) and more recently, automatic chat rooms for help with technology, you have always been able to tell that you’re having a conversation with a computer. What if you can no longer tell? What if computers can encourage you to inadvertently reveal your innermost thoughts and secrets?
No; I’m definitely exaggerating. Let us be honest here. The supercomputer was impersonating a 13-year-old boy, who would clearly have large gaps in his knowledge like in maths and current affairs. So it cannot exactly be mistaken as an adult. Secondly, only 1 in 3 judges mistook the computer for a human – that’s hardly a vast majority.
As computers have no way of actually thinking for themselves, they are programmed to learn to talk as a human does, in an extremely rational way. And the thing is… Humans aren’t rational. They are driven by emotion, heart and passion at least every so often. They react according to their feelings towards the other person – whether a stranger or good friend – and can tell, even over technology, when someone isn’t acting quite right.
Even a computer can’t simulate authenticity or irrationality. It’s something that is very human. I honestly don’t think we’ll have a problem with robots taking over the world for a very long time, if ever.
Do you think robots are going to take over the world? Let us know in the comments below!