, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 315-321

Human intelligence and Turing Test

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Abstract

The Turing Test (TT) is criticised for various reasons, one being that it is limited to testing only human-like intelligence. We can read, for example, that ‘TT is testing humanity, not intelligence,’ (Fostel, 1993), that TT is ‘a test for human intelligence, not intelligence in general,’ (French, 1990), or that a perspective assumed by TT is parochial, arrogant and, generally, ‘massively anthropocentric’ (Hayes and Ford, 1996). This limitation presumably causes a basic inadequacy of TT, namely that it misses a wide range of intelligence by focusing on one possibility only, namely on human intelligence. The spirit of TT enforces making explanations of possible machine intelligence in terms of what is known about intelligence in humans, thus possible specificity of the computer intelligence is ruled out from the oælset.

This approach causes ire in some interpreters of the test and leads them to desire to create a theory of intelligence in general, thereby overcoming the limitations imposed by merely human intelligence. At times it is an emotion-laden discussion that does not hesitate to impute chauvinism in those limiting themselves to human-type intelligence.1 This discussion is, by the way, not unlike the rhetoric used by some defenders of animal rights, who insist that an expression of superiority of men over animals is a token of speciesism, and ‘speciesism is just a moral mistake of the same sort as racism and sexism’.