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What is a Turing test?

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Over the years, mathematicians and scientists have taken huge strides in perfecting the art of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Through this, many algorithms and technologies for developing AI have been discovered. To test if these AI algorithms are accurate enough to be deemed a replica of the human brain, Alan Turing proposed a test called The Turing Test.

Alan Turing

Turing was an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and theoretical biologist. His work is essentially based on theoretical computer science and AI. Turing played a huge role in decrypting German messages sent during WWII by developing a sophisticated encryption device called The Enigma Engine.

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The Turing Test

To test if computers can mimic a real human brain, Turing proposed the Turing Test. The Turing Test evaluates the accuracy of an AI (i.e., computer) by simulating a conversation between a human and a computer.

The basic idea behind the simulation involves three parties: two humans and an AI trained computer. A human moderator is tasked with having a conversation with a computer and a human without knowing who he/she is talking with. This conversation has a set subject, format, and time. When the time elapses, the moderator is asked to determine which party is human and which party is a machine. This simulation is then repeated a number of times. If the moderator makes an incorrect prediction more than 50% of the time, then the computer can be said to have achieved Artificial Intelligence.

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