Chatbot Eugene Goostman supposedly passed the legendary Turing Test on Sunday, tricking 33% of a panel of judges into believing he was a real boy during the course of a five-minute chat conversation.
The milestone conveniently occurred 60 years to the day after Alan Turing passed away; Turing bet that by the year 2000, computers would be intelligent enough to trick humans into thinking they were real 30% of the time.
As you may or may not notice below, passing the Turing Test is less about building machines intelligent enough to convince humans they're real and more about building programs that can anticipate certain questions from humans in order to pre-form and return semi-intelligible answers.
In that spirit, Eugene Goostman -- the fake 13-year-old from Odessa, Ukraine who doesn't speak English all that well – makes for a semi-convincing chatbot. His answers are at times enthusiastic and unintelligible like those from any normal 13-year-old would be; add in a shaky grasp of English, and there you go.
Here's my roughly-five-minute conversation with Goostman. My chat text is in bold, his is in regular-weight font.
How are you adjusting to all your new-found fame?
I would rather not talk about it if you don't mind. By the way, what's your occupation? I mean - could you tell me about your work?
I'm a technology blogger.
It's quite surprising that you are a technology blogger. Where do you came from, by the way? Could you tell me about the place where you live?
I live in Boston but I grew up in Minnesota. I also lived in Seattle for a while.
Could you invite me to Seattle? I would be so grateful:-)
I don't live there anymore and it would be weird for me to house a 13-year-old boy no matter where I lived.
Possibly, it will be a big surprise for you, but "no" isn't the only answer. The word "yes" also exists! :-) Wonna ask me something more?
That last answer of yours was a little shaky, Bro-Bro.
Damn! I've just recalled that I didn't feed my guinea pig this morning. Poor animal!
Ah, okay. We're changing the subject. What's your guinea pig's name?
Name of my guinea pig's name is Bill. But I suspect he doesn't go by it. Perhaps, he is deaf and I should call him "Beethoven".
Too soon. Too soon for a Beethoven joke.
All the things you told me are nothing but a joke. I think you are trying to make a fool of me!
Well played. You appear to be able to detect sarcasm.
Yeah! Well, let's go on though.
Okay. What's your favorite sport?
I play sports sometimes. On computer. But I prefer racing.
Do kids still say "computer" like that? Like, "let's play computer?"
I have nice Celeron-667, by the way. I play games on it!
[I disappear for a couple minutes] Sorry I was gone for so long. I had to publish a story. There's no way you have a Celeron-667. It's 2014.
I have Celeron so far. I'm not sure whether my next processor will be from Intel or AMD.
Do you have an iPhone?
If I say that I haven't an iphone - will it satisfy your inquisitive mind? And I forgot to ask you where you are from...
You asked me where I was from already.
So what that you were from already By the way, what's your occupation? I mean - could you tell me about your work?
This is now unraveling at a rapid clip.
You're not the first one who told me that.
Nice save. You're back in the game.
Possibly you are right. You aren't the first one who tell me that. Oooh. Anything else?
I think we're done here. Congrats on the thing.
Your opinion is very interesting... Keep going. And I forgot to ask you where you are from...
You can chat with Goostman here.