Friday, December 17, 2004


These are some possible answers for defining intelligence :
  • the ability to learn from experience
  • the power of thought
  • the power of insight
  • the ability to reason
  • the ability to perceive relations
  • the ability to use tools
  • intuition

Although agreeing on one defenition may seem hard, it seems that there has been a consensus that this quality is possessed by man and not machines.By rapid developments in artificial intelligence field, it's hard to be very sure about this anymore. The following piece is interesting as a test of telling if a machine is intelligent or not:

In his landmark 1950 paper Alan Turing suggested that the question "Can machines think?" was too vague and philosophical to be of any value. To make it more concrete, he proposed an "imitation game." The Turning test; as it came to be known, in­volves two people and a computer. One person, the interrogator,
sits alone in a room and types questions into a computer terminal. The questions can be about anything-math, science, politics, sports, entertainment, art, human relationships, emotions -anything. As answers to questions appear on
the terminal, the interrogaur attempts to guess whether those answers were typed by the other person or were generated by the computer. By repeatedly fooling interrogators into thinking it is a person, a computer can demonstrate intelligent behavior. If it acts intelligent, according to Turing, it is intelligent.

It is interesting that Turning actually believed that machines would be able to pass his test by the turn of the century. So far no computer has come close, in spite of 40 years of research on artificial intelligence.

(posted by Farid)

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