CSC 550: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Fall 2008

HW1: AI and the Turing Test

  1. In the paper Computing Machinery and Intelligence, Alan Turing described several objections to the concept of a thinking machine, and attempted to refute those objections. Which of these objections do you find the most credible? Or, conversely, which of Turing's refutations do you find to be the weakest? Explain your reasoning.

  2. Turing's paper described a test for identifying Artificial Intelligence called the human/computer imitation game,which subsequently became known as the Turing Test. Suppose you were to serve as judge in the Turing Test. What line of questioning would you pursue in order to distinguish between the human and the computer pretending to be human? Explain your reasoning.

  3. Consider the three programs below, which converse with the user via a Web-based interface. Interact with each of these programs, and comment on their performances. How would you rank them in terms of sophistication? How did each perform on the line of questioning you described in the previous question? What characteristics impressed or amused you about them? Could you envision either of the three being extended to the point where it might pass the Turing Test? Explain your answers.
  4. One of the best known criticisms of the Turing Test, and Artificial Intelligence in general, is John Searle's Chinese Room Argument. Summarize Searle's argument against AI, and comment as to whether you find it convincing. Did reading this paper sway your view of the feasibility of AI? Explain your reasoning.