The Turing test is an assessment of a computer program’s ability to imitate the intelligence of a human being in a text-based chat. It was established way back in 1950, but no computer has ever cracked it, until now.
The actual mechanics of the Turing test are (as you might imagine) fairly complicated, but the simple version is that a computer needs to fool scientifically trained judges at least 30% of the time, which has now finally been done by a program named “Eugene Goostman,” who after chatting with three judges, convinced one that it was actually a 13-year-old non-native English speaker.
Some of the more excitable media outlets are twisting this story into meaning that an actual artificially intelligent entity has been produced, but as i09 explains here, it’s only a simulation. So you can stop worrying about Skynet or C-3PO showing up at your doorstep any time soon. It’s still a cool milestone in technology, and we all have only to wait to see what the program’s implications for the future will be.
You can chat with Eugene yourself by heading to his website here.