A New Turing Test?

Two computer scientists propose a new approach for comparing human intelligence with non-human intelligence. The Economist has a story about it. Here is part of the story:

“The most famous test for artificial intelligence is that devised by Alan Turing, a British computing pioneer. To pass the Turing test, and thus be considered intelligent, a program must fool a human being into believing that it is another human being. But the Turing test still requires the program to share a language with the tester and, because it is all or nothing, cannot be used to rank different forms of artificial intelligence against one another.

“José Hernández-Orallo of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, in Spain, and David Dowe of Monash University, in Australia, think they can do better than this. They believe not only that a universal scale of intelligence can be devised, but also that it can be assessed without reference to language. If they are right, an insult like “bird-brained” will, in the future, be finely calibrated.

“Dr Hernández-Orallo and Dr Dowe, both computer scientists, propose to make their measurement by borrowing a concept called Kolmogorov complexity from information theory, a branch of computer science. The Kolmogorov complexity of a computer’s output is the shortest possible program (measured in the binary digits that lie at the bottom of all computer code) that could produce that output. On this measure, an entity’s intelligence would be measured by the Kolmogorov complexity of the most complex tests it can solve—a clear, numerical value. In practice, calculating the true Kolmogorov complexity of a system is almost impossible. But an approximation can be made. And that, the researchers reckon, will be good enough.” Read more.

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