Gnirut Test

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

probably Not Albert Einstein (often attributed to him tho)

The Turing Test was developed by Alan Turing in the 1950s. The idea was that one day a machine intelligence would be indistinguishable from that of a human.

Now: based on the quote above I would say that arguably measuring the intelligence of a computer by its ability to behave like a human… is also a little bit unfair!

About 30 years ago videogames moved from purely deterministic behaviour to more heuristic strategies.
It may not seem much today, but from a computer that controls the aliens in Space Invaders to one that wins at Chess, the difference was so glaring that a whole generation secretly stopped for a second to consider the possibility of computers becoming sentient.

30 years later -today- we haven’t reached a singularity yet, but our efforts to pass the Turing test are becoming more effective, and as computers are slowly getting closer to mimicking our intelligence, one question starts to emerge: how close are humans to be able to mimicking a computer intelligence?

I came up with this idea of a Gnirut Test after reading a Dilbert’s strip dated May 13th 2017 (can’t copy it here for copyright reasons). A Gnirut Test -literally- is a reverse Turing Test;  here is a trivial one for you:

  1. 8972163714 x 32896237  = ?
    – you have 1 second to answer, I am very generous here
  2. Provide a very approximate translation of the complete work of William Shakespeare between two languages of your choice.
    – you could take a couple of hours lead time… but it will just make your defeat more humiliating
  3. play 30 chess games at the same time against 30 random people
    – you would have to win them all to pass the test I am afraid
  4. Listen to 1 hour of people insulting you in every possible way based on everything they know about you
    – always reply kindly, remain calm and not take anything personal

How did it go? Did you pass the Gnirut Test? …didn’t think so!

Samuel Butler published an article in 1863 titled: Darwin among the machines .
It is still today an extremely enlightening reading, in which Mr Butler implies that machines are evolving at a faster rate than any biological creature on this planet, and they will continue to do so until they will become the dominant specie on the planet earth.
In fact, he argued that they already were in many ways the dominant specie in 1863!

It may sound legitimately mental, but the point I am trying to make is that the Turing test may be less important than we think in determining the intelligence of a machine, and that a singularity may emerge independently from the machines ability to exhibit an intelligence comparable to that of humans.

In other words… every machine is a genius, but if you judge a machine by its ability to speak English, draw a painting, or fall in love, it will live its whole life believing that it is more stupid than a human.


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