London: A supercomputer programme has passed the Turing Test for the first time in history after it managed to fool 33 per cent of the human judges into thinking that it was a 13-year-old boy.
The Turing Test is based on 20th century mathematician and code-breaker Alan Turing’s 1950 famous question and answer game, ‘Can Machines Think?’.
The experiment investigates whether people can detect if they are talking to machines or humans.
If a computer is mistaken for a human more than 30 per cent of the time during a series of five minute keyboard conversations it passes the test.
No computer has ever achieved this, until now.
The Turing Test was passed for the very first time by supercomputer Eugene Goostman after it managed to convince 33 per cent of the human judges that it was human at an event organised by the University of Reading.
Eugene simulates a 13-year-old boy and was developed in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It was one of five supercomputers battling it for the Turing Test 2014 Prize at the Royal Society in London on June 7.
The Eugene development team included Vladimir Veselov, who was born in Russia and now lives in the US, and Ukrainian born Eugene Demchenko who now lives in Russia.
Professor Kevin Warwick, a Visiting Professor at the University of Reading and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research at Coventry University, said: “In the field of Artificial Intelligence there is no more iconic and controversial milestone than the Turing Test, when a computer convinces a sufficient number of interrogators into believing that it is not a machine but rather is a human.
“Some will claim that the Test has already been passed. The words Turing Test have been applied to similar competitions around the world.
“However this event involved the most simultaneous comparison tests than ever before, was independently verified and, crucially, the conversations were unrestricted.
“A true Turing Test does not set the questions or topics prior to the conversations. We are therefore proud to declare that Alan Turing’s Test was passed for the first time on Saturday.
“Of course the Test has implications for society today. Having a computer that can trick a human into thinking that someone, or even something, is a person we trust is a wake-up call to cybercrime.
“The Turing Test is a vital tool for combating that threat. It is important to understand more fully how online, real-time communication of this type can influence an individual human in such a way that they are fooled into believing something is true…when in fact it is not,” Warwick said.