Re: Replacing the Turing Test
We were talking about this during the Friday podcast (which people should check out of they want to get a little more color commentary on the geekend and other posts), and I was really looking forward to this post going up to see what people had to say about it. The bit about the computer making card tricks was particularly interesting to me, because I think it most closely meets that idea of improvisation. Even if it's a little thing (slightly adjusting the perameters on established cart tricks), those are the real building blocks of establishing that machine intelligence we're looking for, in my opinion, not the ability to do things quickly or retain a lot of information, like Watson or Deep Blue.
I see what some of you are saying about the piecemeal approach of current 'smart' robots in that they only perform specialized tasks, but I think Dave is right on the money. Even if the people working on them don't necessarily know they're doing it, these are the precursors to greater things, and eventually these disparate technologies will reach a point of convergance. In truth, it may happen faster than we realize. We may wake up one day and think 'hey, when did all this happen?'. So, again, I think Dave is right - we're better off taking these things seriously too soon rather too late. After all, 2018 is not as far away as it sounds.