This weekend, to mark the 60th anniversary of Alan Turing's death, a chatbot named Eugene Goostman—a program pretending to be a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy—fooled one of three assembled judges into thinking that it is human. PARRY: It bothers me just to be around people in general. PARRY: I went to the track at Bay Meadows a while back.
Whether this marks the first beating of the Turing Test, the pioneering computer scientist's trial for artificial intelligence, remains a matter of debate; for one thing, one of Turing's qualifications was that the human-fooling be done repeatedly.
I asked a guy who's been a grief counselor for more than 30 years.“What goes through my head is this a way to hold onto the person?
” Thomas Brown, Executive Director of the non-profit grief counseling Tampa Life Center.
Robots and droids in fiction tend to have similar types of names.
But evangelists of the technology say that bots are poised to be at the center of a crucial paradigm shift in how we think about using the Internet.
And in 1972, the Stanford scientist Kenneth Colby created another program, PARRY—a bot that tried to model the behavior of a paranoid schizophrenic.
PARRY was, Colby said, "ELIZA with attitude."In January 1973, as a demonstration during an international computer conference, the computer science pioneer Vint Cerf decided to take the bots to their logical conclusion: Using ARPANET, he set up a conversation between ELIZA and PARRY.
It was a bicoastal meeting of the computer minds: ELIZA was based at MIT, PARRY at Stanford.
ELIZA: What makes you think I am entitled to my own opinion?
“I believe it represents a sincere desire to cope with death, but I'm not certain in the way that it's presented is going to help us to let go.“My sense is, it’s going to present ways to help us to hold on to the person rather than to let go emotionally.