Sunday, 25. September 2005

Breaking it down

Recent discussions in the Robitron group have prompted me to break down my personal view of the Turing Test problem into as few simple statements as possible. Here's what I came up with so far:


1. Turing's Original Imitation Game (OIG) imagines a computer program that can imitate a man that is imitating a woman - an activity that can be regarded as being a form of improvisational acting.

2. To imitate a woman, a man has to identify himself with a woman.

3. Therefore, to successfully play the Imitation Game, a computer program must be able to identify with, and thereby act as, another person - it has to be able to do what an improv actor does.

4. "Identification", the way actors understand it, means to simulate the inner states of a person from a first-person perspective (though this is most often expressed less formaly as "to step into somebody else's shoes").

5. To win, the OIG-playing computer program therefore has to succeed in simulating the inner states of a person from a first-person perspective.

6. To create a program that can simulate the inner states of a person from a first-person perspective, one would have to first come up with an exhaustive formalization of inner first-person states, represented in terms of Turing computation.

7. Despite an international research effort that now spans 55 years and involved thousands of the world's brightest minds and many billions of dollars, such a formalization is still unavailable.


8. This - to me - is evidence that such a formalization might be
impossible to create, and that the inner first-person states of
humans cannot be exhaustively formalized.

Any disagreement up to here?

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