Whilst imitating a human is only a small part of what an AI can potentially do, the pursuit of human imitation has implications in a number of areas. For that reason, I’m proposing a contest.
Everyone is invited. Bring your AI and see who can take on the Turing test. The goal: achieving the longest Turing time.
In the future, I can see software giants competing directly with one another, their market shares rising and falling in accordance with the performance of their AI contenders.
The open source community may collaborate; contributing to the overall quality of the technology and reducing the importance of proprietary solutions.
Importantly, the competition will create excitement around AI, and as a result start-ups could explore risky but potentially rewarding ways to drive AI forward, and even find novel applications for the technology.
Even academia could get involved: performing meta research, monitoring the strength of AI development and how much positive impact the technology has on the society.
Each contender in this contest may have their moment of glory, and contribute to the advancement of technology.
Any competition will need an independent body to oversee proceedings and ensure a fair result. The task of that body would be to keep track of the Turing time assessment results, and to define (and perhaps refine) the official rules of the game. This organization should help establish the legitimacy of the test, and could maybe even perform measurements of its own.
The organization will need stewards and administrators on a volunteer basis, as well as funding. Suggestions and contributions are welcome. I’ve even reserved a domain name for us to get started: Turingtime.org.
If done right, the contest will produce reliable measurements and we will accurately monitor the progress of our chatty AIs.
Turing time give us the numbers to beat, and the rules by which to play. Contenders for the competition are anything but lacking.
So, let the imitation games begin.
Danko Nikolic is a brain and mind scientist, as well as an AI practitioner and visionary. His work as a senior data scientist at Teradata focuses on helping customers with AI and data science problems. In his free time, he continues working on closing the mind-body explanatory gap, and using that knowledge to improve machine learning and artificial intelligence.