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The Turing Test

The Turing Test
First published Wed Apr 9, 2003; substantive revision Wed Jan 26, 2011 The phrase “The Turing Test” is most properly used to refer to a proposal made by Turing (1950) as a way of dealing with the question whether machines can think. According to Turing, the question whether machines can think is itself “too meaningless” to deserve discussion (442). The phrase “The Turing Test” is sometimes used more generally to refer to some kinds of behavioural tests for the presence of mind, or thought, or intelligence in putatively minded entities. If there were machines which bore a resemblance to our bodies and imitated our actions as closely as possible for all practical purposes, we should still have two very certain means of recognizing that they were not real men. The phrase “The Turing Test” is also sometimes used to refer to certain kinds of purely behavioural allegedly logically sufficient conditions for the presence of mind, or thought, or intelligence, in putatively minded entities. 1.

The Lost Art of Thinking Before You Act | Postcards from Žižek What's the Big Idea? Philosopher Slavoj Žižek is fundamentally anti-capitalist, and yet, the man who describes himself as a “complicated Marxist” also expresses palpable irritation at the idea that capitalists are nothing more than egomaniacal psychopaths. In a recent interview with Big Think, he told us that although he’s highly critical of capitalism in his work, when asked about it in public, he’s tempted to detail all the things that are great about it. Watch the interview: Political critiques that don’t account for the passion of the individual capitalist are flawed, he says, because capitalism is as much an ethical as it is an economic system. The guiding principle of free market economic theorists is that people are motivated purely by the pursuit of their own rational self-interests. So is he still sympathetic to the Occupy Wall Street movement? The contradictions are intentional. What's the Significance? His advice to those advocating for change, part II:

BOINC: compute for science BOINC is a program that lets you donate your idle computer time to science projects like SETI@home,, Rosetta@home, World Community Grid, and many others. After installing BOINC on your computer, you can connect it to as many of these projects as you like. You may run this software on a computer only if you own the computer or have the permission of its owner. Tested on the current Ubuntu distribution; may work on others. If available, we recommend that you install a distribution-specific package instead. After downloading BOINC you must install it: typically this means double-clicking on the file icon when the download is finished. System requirements · Release notes · Help · All versions · Version history · GPU computing

World Economic Forum lists top 10 emerging technologies for 2012 The World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies has drawn up a list of the top 10 emerging technologies for 2012 (Image: Shutterstock) Our goal here at Gizmag is to cover innovation and emerging technologies in all fields of human endeavor, and while almost all of the ideas that grace our pages have the potential to enhance some of our lives in one way or another, at the core are those technologies that will have profound implications for everyone on the planet. For those looking to shape political, business, and academic agendas, predicting how and when these types of technologies will effect us all is critical. Betting on the right technologies can allow schools to produce graduates better qualified to deal with a rapidly changing world, governments to more efficiently meet the needs of the populace, business to generate profits, and scientists to better allocate resources. 1. Source: World Economic Forum Blog About the Author Post a CommentRelated Articles

Future proof » Tim’s laptop service manuals Have you come to this webpage looking for Toshiba laptop service manuals? Please read this. Introduction In the same vein as in my driver guide, I’ve started finding laptop service manuals and hosting them on my site. These are the professional, official documents published by the various laptop makers, either for their own technicians or for the use of the general public. They generally detail the exact list of parts in each model of laptop – often down to individual screws, if you happen to have lost some and need to know the exact size for a replacement – and describe the procedure for disassembling and reassembling the entire machine, including panels, RAM, wireless cards, keyboards and touchpads and LCD screens, all the way down to the motherboard itself. They’re difficult to find – you have to know where to look in their support site, or come up with the right Google search string, or beg and steal from someone you know in the industry. Practical stuff Organisation Feedback Acer Apple

How much would legal marijuana cost? A new book says it would be nearly free Photograph by Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images. It continues to be totally off the radar of prominent politicians, but polls indicate that large and growing numbers of Americans are open to the idea of legalizing marijuana. Gallup broke ground last fall with the first-ever poll showing 50 percent of respondents nationwide wanting to legalize, and a more precisely worded poll from Rasmussen in May had 56 percent in favor of “legalizing marijuana and regulating it in a similar manner to the way alcohol and tobacco cigarettes are regulated today.” There’s been relatively little analysis of what a legal marijuana industry might look like. Conventional thinking about pot pricing is often dominated by people’s experience buying weed in legal or quasi-legal settings such as a Dutch “coffee shop” or a California medical marijuana dispensary. These expedients would work, but they’d be horrendously inefficient compared with the modern agricultural, packaging, and transportation methods.

Sentient Organizations: A Cryptozoological Approach First of all, let go of the possibility that I might at all be speaking metaphorically or figuratively. I think it is possible — probable, even — that some organizations, be they businesses or churches or street gangs or what have you, are literally alive. Alive to the point that studies should be made to classify them taxonomically as a new branch on the tree of life. Alive to the point that many of them are aware and self-aware. I first broached this topic in a serious fashion when I was researching and writing my portion of the presentation for Stan Woodard’s Atlanta Zombie Symposium in September of 2009. I understand that for some of you this isn’t going to be anything like a gosh-wow concept. While I am definitely speaking literally, I will resort to metaphors to paint the picture. And yes, I am working on the assumption that evolutionary mechanisms are a fact. The benefit for similar organisms to band together is fairly well established. You see that in humans, too.

Majorana fermions – the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything? Physicists at the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, have achieved a milestone that might soon revolutionize the world of quantum computing, quantum physics, and perhaps shed new light on the mystery of the dark matter in our universe. Experimenting with nanoelectronics, a group led by Prof. Leo Kouwenhoven has succeeded in detecting the elusive Majorana fermion in the laboratory, without the need for a particle accelerator. View all The find is the culmination of decades of research. Building on this knowledge, Kouwenhoven connected indium antimonide nanowires to a circuit with a gold contact at one end and a slice of superconductor at the other, and then exposed the circuit to a moderate magnetic field. Conceptual close-up of the Majorana nano-device This special kind of fermion has the unique property of being its own antiparticle. Elementary particles come in two kinds: bosons, such as photons, and fermions, such as electrons. Leo Kouwenhoven and his team in the lab

Dr. Who's sonic screwdriver a step closer to reality? A University of Dundee research team led by Prof. Mike MacDonald has demonstrated that both levitation and twisting forces can be applied to an object by application of ultrasonic beams. This latest breakthrough is part of a wide-ranging U.K. research effort to develop a device not unlike the "sonic screwdriver" made famous by the TV series Doctor Who. The sonic screwdriver has been a favored tool of ten Doctors at this point in time (it was introduced by the second Doctor). Back here on Earth, ultrasonic beams have primarily been used for imaging within opaque objects and to shake objects – the ultrasonic medical scanner and ultrasonic cleaner are the prime examples. This impressive video begs the question – what is an ultrasonic vortex beam, and why is it so clever at manipulating objects? Consistency also requires that the phase change around the axis of an ultrasonic vortex beam must be a multiple of a full vibrational cycle – 2 pi, 4 pi, etc. Source: University of Dundee

What is unacceptable speech? A Muslim clearly expresses his opinion about the Muhammad cartoons in a demonstration in Oslo. (Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / Scanpix) Good democratic debate depends upon our ability to tolerate criticism of our speech, our beliefs and our culture. At the same time, the debate must be inclusive, and not just governed by the majority's premises. That is how PhD candidate Jonas Jakobsen responds when we ask what is considered acceptable speech in a democratic society. According to him, the rationality of a debate is damaged when we repeatedly are told that for example most terrorists are Muslims, because this statement is a direct lie. “Lying is like poison to a democratic debate. Criticism and freedom of speech The public debate in Norway after the terror attacks in July 2011 has focused to some extent on what kinds of speech and offensive remarks we must allow and tolerate. First came requests for a more measured approach to criticisms of Islam. Western Europe - A global minority

Horgan, Hayden, and the Last Word on Warfare In 2008, I published a book about the evolutionary origins and cultural development of warfare throughout human history. John Horgan, about as distinguished a science writer as one is likely to find, graciously invited me to share my thoughts on war’s deep past and possible futures on a web video show he hosted. It was an extremely pleasant experience, but that, apparently, was just because John is polite. More of the latter than the former in here, saddly Ann: I understand both of you have written authoritative and charming books on war — John’s, just out, is called The End of War; and Tom’s is Sex and War — and that you’ve discussed these matters before. Tom: Ann, you’re poking the hornet’s nest right off the bat! John: Trying to disarm me with your kind words, eh Tom? Ann: And can we focus on theories that have some evidence? Tom: Okay, let’s get to the sex and gender next, and tackle the innateness of warring behaviors first. Anyway, why do we say it’s ancestral?

Pondering a universe without purpose The illusion of purpose and design is perhaps the most pervasive illusion about nature that science has to confront on a daily basis. Everywhere we look, it appears that the world was designed so that we could flourish. The position of the Earth around the sun, the presence of organic materials and water and a warm climate — all make life on our planet possible. Yet, with perhaps 100 billion solar systems in our galaxy alone, with ubiquitous water, carbon and hydrogen, it isn't surprising that these conditions would arise somewhere. As a cosmologist, a scientist who studies the origin and evolution of the universe, I am painfully aware that our illusions nonetheless reflect a deep human need to assume that the existence of the Earth, of life and of the universe and the laws that govern it require something more profound. But science has taught us to think the unthinkable. And so it is that the 21st century has brought new revolutions and new revelations on a cosmic scale.

Meritocracy and measurement myths Michael Young’s 1959 satire The Rise of the Meritocracy begins in 2034 with a puzzled member of the commanding elite of the future wondering why in the world various discontented factions of the meritocratic society could be contemplating a general strike. What justification could they possibly have for being angry, given that everyone is systematically is afforded a fair opportunity to thrive through rigorous and ceaseless testing. I imagine that some view the Occupy unrest in this light; our culture’s well-groomed and highly educated elite could be looking out from corner offices in bank buildings down at Zuccotti Park, reanimated with what must seem like pointless strife, and think to themselves, What’s with those people? They could work harder, achieve more, take advantage of the systems designed by human-resource agents to capture talent and reward it instead of griping about it. That’s a classic patronizing conservative defense of existing privilege.