Professor Stephen Hawking has pleaded with world leaders to keep technology under control before it destroys humanity.
lunedì 9 giugno 2014
RISE OF THE MACHINE: SUPERATO IL TEST DI TURING
"I computer possono pensare?" La domanda è alla base di uno dei più intrigranti e controversi snodi dell'evoluzione delle tecnologie delle macchine e il principio su cui si fonda, il Test di Turing, il criterio inventato e reso pubblico nel 1950 dal matematico Alan Turing, uno dei padrini dell'intelligenza artificiale.
Può, secondo precise regole di "gioco" (se una macchina riesce a farsi passare per un essere umano allora sta pensando, o si sta avvicinando molto a questo concetto), un computer comportarsi come un essere umano, nel senso di capacità di formulazione di un pensiero come concatenazione ed espressione di idee? In poche parole può una macchina riprodurre le funzioni cognitive umane? Sebbene le previsioni di Turing predicevano già entro il 2000 l'avvento di un computer talmente intelligente da poter superare il suo test, finora nessuno ci era mai riuscito.
Sabato 8 giugno, invece, nel corso di un evento oraganizzato dall'Università di Reading presso la Royal Society di Londra, il tabù è stato infranto e a darne conto (ieri) è stata l'edizione online dell'Indipendent. Per la prima volta nella storia un computer, denominato Eugene Goostman, frutto dell'ingegno di un gruppo di sviluppatori russi di San Pietroburgo, è riuscito a superare il test, convincendo il 33% degli esperti partecipanti al test di essere a colloquio con un 13enne e non con una macchina. Un giudice su tre, per intendersi, ha creduto e giudicato umano il suo comportamento nei cinque minuti in cui è durata la conversazione. (G.Rus.)
Experts say no computer had previously met the artificial intelligence benchmark developed in 1950 by the mathematician, who said if a machine could not be told apart from a human, then it was "thinking".
If a computer is mistaken for a human more than 30% of the time during a series of five-minute keyboard conversations it passes the test.
Five machines were put through their paces at the Royal Society in London to see if they could fool people.
And the supercomputer Eugene Goostman, running a programme imitating a 13-year-old boy, managed to convince 33% of the judges it was human, organisers from the University of Reading said.
Among those tasked with separating the human and computer participants was the actor Robert Llewellyn, who played robot Kryten in the sci-fi comedy TV series Red Dwarf.
Professor Kevin Warwick, from the university said: "In the field of artificial intelligence there is no more iconic and controversial milestone than the Turing Test.
"It is fitting that such an important landmark has been reached at the Royal Society in London, the home of British science and the scene of many great advances in human understanding over the centuries. This milestone will go down in history as one of the most exciting."
The successful machine was created by Russian-born Vladimir Veselov, who lives in the United States, and Ukrainian Eugene Demchenko, who lives in Russia.
Mr Veselov said: "It's a remarkable achievement for us and we hope it boosts interest in artificial intelligence and chatbots.
"Eugene was 'born' in 2001. 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.
"We spent a lot of time developing a character with a believable personality."
Prof Warwick said there had been previous claims that the test was passed in similar competitions around the world.
"A true Turing Test does not set the questions or topics prior to the conversations," he said.
"We are therefore proud to declare that Alan Turing's test was passed for the first time."
Prof Warwick said having a computer with such artificial intelligence had implications for society and would serve as a "wake-up call to cybercrime".
The event on Saturday was poignant as it took place on the 60th anniversary of the death of Mr Turing, who laid the foundations of modern computing.
During the Second World War, his critical work at Britain's code-breaking centre at Bletchley Park helped shorten the conflict and save many thousands of lives.
But Dr Turing was chemically castrated following his conviction in 1952 for "gross indecency" with another man.
He died of cyanide poisoning two years later and an inquest recorded a verdict of suicide, although his mother and others maintained his death was accidental.
Last December, after a long campaign, Mr Turing was given a posthumous Royal Pardon.