Beyond the Turing Test

COMEDIAN JOHN MULANEY HAS joked that we spend a lot of time telling robots that we’re not robots. As an example, he cites the common CAPTCHA tool that asks respondents to identify objects (street signs, for instance) in a series of images (Figure 5.1). For what it’s worth, the ubiquitous CAPTCHA security program is actually an acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart.

The irony is that, while it may be difficult for a robot to detect another robot online, in everyday interactions, humans are rather easy to identify. Simply ask them to calculate a complex math problem in a few milliseconds—and humans will always fail where machines succeed.

It will soon be easier for a robot ...

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