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Turing Test Considered Mostly Harmless


Turing’s landmark paper on computing machinery and intelligence is multifaceted and has an underemphasized ethical dimension. Turing’s notion of “intelligence” and “thinking” was far more encompassing than the common anthropocentric view may suggest. We discuss a number of open and underrated problems that the common interpretation of the Turing test as a test of machine intelligence entails. We suggest that a more meaningful question than “Can machines think?” is whether modern computing machinery can amplify human intelligence. We cite examples ranging from traditional silicon-based environments to carbon-based, living organisms in order to illustrate that this kind of intelligence amplification is indeed happening today. We conclude that in its interpretation as a test of machine intelligence, the Turing test may indeed be harmful for artificial intelligence (AI); in its wider interpretation, however, it remains an inspiring source for philosophy and AI alike.

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Correspondence to Daniel Berrar.

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Berrar, D., Konagaya, A. & Schuster, A. Turing Test Considered Mostly Harmless. New Gener. Comput. 31, 241–263 (2013).

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  • Turing Test
  • Imitation Game
  • Machine Intelligence
  • Intelligence Amplification
  • Creativity