Procedural literacy the ability to understand non-static systems like interactive programs and AI. It is especially important in this age when the usage of computers has become relatively widespread and interest in interactive AI is beginning to increase.
The paper progresses from a very broad and vague question to a much narrower, focused, and potentially achievable objective: it goes from “Can machines think?” to “Are there imaginable digital computers which would do well in the imitation game?”. Effectively, it answers the question by posing another question as a stepping-stone; the idea being that a machine with the ability to effectively fool a human into thinking it intelligent would be one step closer to actual intelligence. My own opinion on this approach is that it is flawed simply because we are basing the test off humans. The definition of “thinking” should encompass human thought processes, but not be limited to them.
Image of Alan Turing
*Turing, A.M. (1950). Computing machinery and intelligence. Mind, 59, 433-460.
The implication in the above comic is that companies have taken advertising to a new level by creating human-like chatbots to promote their products. Disregarding the fact that the bot poses as a real human being, deceiving unwitting victims and playing on their emotions, the very tactic is unethical. It is the equivalent of a real human forming a false friendship or even a relationship with another person simply for financial gain – in this case, promoting products. That the ‘human’ is in actuality not a human at all is simply adding insult to injury.
“Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray