A landmark in the realm of artificial intelligence has been achieved. In 1950, computer scientist Alan Turing suggested a test which, in its current form, requires a computer to "trick" 30% of judges into believing it's human. At London's 2014 Turing Test on Saturday, 33% of judges believed a computer program was a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy, the Telegraph reports. Not that it looked like one: The judges' decision was based on five-minute text conversations. Though some have previously claimed to have passed the test (the Daily Dot looks at such claims from 1989, 2011, and 2012), "this event involved the most simultaneous comparison tests than ever before, was independently verified and, crucially, the conversations were unrestricted," says an expert.
The program's "boy," named Eugene Goostman, is the work of engineers Vladimir Veselov and Eugene Demchenko, of Russia and Ukraine, the Verge notes. Goostman claims to be into hamburgers and candy, and he says his father's a gynecologist. And Gootsman's "age" was a well-considered factor: Veselov notes, "Our main idea was that he can claim that he knows anything, but his age also makes it perfectly reasonable that he doesn't know everything." That throws water on things for James Temple at re/code. "The researchers passed the letter of the Turing Test, but I'm not so sure about the spirit of it," he writes. "I’m not left believing that the computer can think ... I’m left believing that the programmers figured out a clever way to trick the judges." (One AI developer predicts computers will be smarter than people by 2029.)