POEM: The Turing Test

Let us propose a game.

A man and a woman, call them A and B, go out of the room.

A third party, man or woman, call them C, proposes questions 

transmitted in writing. 

The purpose of the questions: To determine which party, 

A or B, is the man, and which party, B or A, is the woman.

A and B shall both attempt to deceive C

by giving answers appropriate to the opposite sex.

Now, let us consider this question:

Is a man who loves other men

a man or a woman?

 

Let us propose a variation. 

Here is a computing machine, call it A.

Here is a human person, call them B.

A third party, call them C, proposes questions 

transmitted in writing.

The purpose of the questions: To determine which party, 

A or B, is the computer, and which party, B or A, is the human being.

Can a computing machine convince a human being 

that it also is a human being?

Now, let us consider this question:

Is a man who loves other men 

a human being?

 

Here is a man, a person, a human being. 

He is very good with computers.

He served his country in the war. 

He fell in love with a man 

that he met in front of the cinema.

They committed acts of gross indecency.

Is a man who loves other men 

a man or a woman? Is he 

a hero or a traitor? Is he 

a human being or an object of gross indecency?

Was his death a suicide or an accident? 

This is the Turing test.

(Alan Turing died on this date in 1954, having served his country during World War Two and then been branded a criminal by that same country because he was homosexual.)

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