How can you tell whether you’re communicating with a computer or a human?


If you’re communicating with someone via an online chat, how can you be sure it’s a human on the other end and not a clever computer program? That’s what the Turing test is all about.

Every year an award (“Most Human Computer”) is given out for the artifical intelligence program that is most effective at fooling judges into believing it’s a person.

What I found more interesting is that they also give out an award (“Most Human Human”) to the person that is most effective at convincing the judges that he is, in fact, a person.

What are some of the critical factors in assuring others that you’re a person and not a machine? Being moody, irritable and obnoxious, of course:

Via The Most Human Human: What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us About Being Alive:

But there is also, intriguingly, another title, one given to the confederate who elicited the greatest number of votes and greatest confidence from the judges: the “Most Human Human” award.

One of the first winners, in 1994, was Wired columnist Charles Platt. How’d he do it? By “being moody, irritable, and obnoxious,” he says— which strikes me as not only hilarious and bleak but also, in some deeper sense, a call to arms: How, in fact, do we be the most human humans we can be— not only under the constraints of the test, but in life?

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