[extropy-chat] The reverse Turing Test
stathisp at gmail.com
Tue Feb 27 09:41:49 UTC 2007
On 2/27/07, Jef Allbright <jef at jefallbright.net> wrote:
I recently recognized the existence of a relatively new phenomenon
> which, as far as I can tell, lacks a good descriptive name. Maybe the
> extropy list can coin one.
> Most of us are familiar with the Turing Test, describing the situation
> where a human is in text-only communication with another entity, and
> the human tries to determine whether the other entity is a human,
> versus a computer pretending to have human understanding.
> The situation I've come to recognize is almost the reverse, where a
> human is in text-only communication with another entity, and the human
> tries to determine whether the other entity really understands the
> topic being discussed, versus a human only pretending to understand by
> using a computer (Google, Wikipedia, etc.).
> In such a case, the entity always claims to understand the topic, but
> appears to quote heavily and literally from sources available on the
> web. When the human rephrases concepts in non-standard ways as a test
> of understanding, the entity typically responds by initiating a new
> conversational thread based on some alternative text findable on the
> web, like a strangely updated parody of Weizenbaum's ELIZA.
> I've seen this reverse Turing phenomenon often enough to think it
> could use a name.
> The Googling Test?
> The Web-Touring test?
> - Jef
I thought that "reverse Turing Test" sounded good, then checked and
there's a Wikipedia article on it already, describing the test as having "no
single clear definition". I must say, I haven't encountered this phenomenon
personally in Internet discussions, but maybe I'm just selective in who I
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