Alan Turing would be proud. Looks like his plan for world domination through artificial intelligence is about to hit the ground running. With the recent release of The Imitation Game in theaters documenting Turing’s life achievements (and then some), it should come to no surprise that scholars and scientists alike are getting together this weekend in Austin, TX, to convene in the nations biggest Artificial Intelligence conference of the year.
As reported by iO9: This coming weekend at Austin’s annual convention of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, a group of AI experts will attend a workshop in hopes of hammering out a new-and-improved version of the Turing Test.
What’s the Turing Test you ask? Seriously, didn’t you see the movie yet? I mean – people – it has Benedict Cumberbatch in it. Go see the movie. Anyway, the Turing Test simply is a means of understanding if a machine is truly “thinking.” But what they found last year, is that the test can be manipulated (well – obviously, because all computers can be manipulated) and that the test was inconclusive.
So this year the AI community is gathering in Austin in hopes of devising a new set of tests that really advance the field toward genuine intelligence and beyond superficial data crunching. Gary F. Marcus, a New York University research psychologist had this to say:
“With the help of the workshop participants, we envision the support and definition of at least two events. The first, recently sponsored by Nuance, will be the Winograd Schema Challenge, proposed by Hector Levesque, which tests the ability of machines to resolve linguistic antecedents in contexts in which common-sense knowledge is critical. See The Winograd Schema Challenge for details about this challenge. The second, recently suggested by the workshop cochair, Gary Marcus, in an essay in the New Yorker, will focus on the comprehension of novel materials, such as videos, texts, photos, and podcasts. As an example, Marcus suggested a competition in which programs might be asked to watch “any arbitrary TV program or YouTube video and answer questions about its content — Why did Russia invade Crimea? or Why did Walter White consider taking a hit out on Jessie?”
Huh – a computer that can watch TV and answer questions? Does this mean we’re that much closer to smell-o-vision? Either way, I think it’s pretty rad that we have a bunch of brilliant and creative minds gathering in Austin, TX to explore the nature of A.I.’s (though it may be small) technological advancements.
I think Alan Turing would be proud.