An interesting article by Massimo Pigliucci on the “Turing test”, or more accurately how a computer was able to fool (a small percentage of) people to believe it was a real person. Important thing to remember, a robot take over in the near future is very, very unlikely.
You probably heard the news: a supercomputer has become sentient and has passed the Turing test (i.e., has managed to fool a human being into thinking he was talking to another human being [1,2])! Surely the Singularity is around the corner and humanity is either doomed or will soon become god-like.
Except, of course, that little of the above is true, and it matters even less. First, let’s get the facts straight: what actually happened  was that a chatterbot (i.e., a computer script), not a computer, has passed the Turing test at a competition organized by the Royal Society in London. Second, there is no reason whatsoever to think that the chatterbot in question, named “Eugene Goostman” and designed by Vladimir Veselov, is sentient, or even particularly intelligent. It’s little more than a (clever) parlor trick. Third, this was actually the second time that a chatterbot…
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