Friday 29 July 2016

More than 50% of people on Internet comments threads fail the Turing test


It’s impossible to tell the difference between most people on the Internet and a very sweary robot, researchers have confirmed.

The Turing test, which was devised to tell if a computer exhibits human-like intelligence, has instead discovered that most people on the Internet don’t do that so it’s probably never going to work very well at spotting an emerging machine consciousness.

Postgraduate researchers at Terminator College Cambridge discovered that more than 87% of comments on the Guardian website were about Jeremy Corbyn, Quinoa, Prosecco or a combination of all three, making it impossible to tell if they were by actual people or just a very left-wing Speak and Spell.

Meanwhile, a computer programme which simply repeated the word “Brexit!” on comments threads regardless of context or relevance got over 3,000 likes and an offer of marriage.

“We tried engaging people in conversation on several sites, and the results were dispiritingly consistent,” said Doctor Theopolis of the Department of Linguistics.

“If we posted something that agreed with their worldview, they ‘liked’ our post. If we disagreed with them, then they called us ‘stupid’, or in extreme cases, ‘scum’.

“Quite frankly I could programme my fucking watch to do that. So I did. It’s got more friends on Facebook than I do now.”

Scientists in the field of artificial intelligence say the study has come as a great relief to them, as AI is really tricky to get right but Artificial Stupidity is a very great deal easier.

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