In 1950, Alan Turing proposed an interesting test to determine if a computer possessed artificial intelligence using a human interrogator. The interrogator could use a keyboard and screen to direct questions to two unseen respondents. One respondent would be human and the other a computer. If after many trials the interrogator proved unable to identify the computer more than 70 percent of the time, Turing said that computer would be intelligent. One of the earliest programs to show promise in beating the Turing Test was ELIZA by Joseph Weizenbaum. But ELIZA only defeats the Turing Test if you allow for some tight controls -- no program is sophisticated enough yet to meet the Turing Test's criteria without restrictions.
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