Eugene the Turing test-beating 'human computer' – in 'his' own words

Algorithm pretending to be 13-year-old boy passes Turing test among third of judges – read some past conversations

Turing test beaten for first time by virtual 13-year-old boy
What is the Turing test? And are we all doomed now?

From 2001: a Space Odyssey to Her, the idea of an intelligent computer that can hold conversations with humans has long been a dream of science-fiction writers, but that fantasy may just have taken a step closer to becoming reality. On Saturday, a computer algorithm claiming to be a 13-year-old boy called Eugene Goostman passed the Turing test, it has been claimed. However, some commentators have suggested that pretending to be a 13-year-old Ukrainian child is not as difficult as pretending to be an Anglophone adult, and that the result should not count.

The program convinced 33% of the human judges at an event at the Royal Society that it was actually a human. The Turing test, which was devised in 1950 by the pioneering computer scientist and second wold war codebreaker Alan Turing is a classic benchmark in artificial intelligence – it determines a machine's ability to show intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.

Transcripts of the conversations from the latest Royal Society test are not yet available but below are transcripts from a previous event at Bletchley Park on 23 June 2012, with the same program.

Can you tell Eugene isn't human?

Test 1

[12:43:37] Judge: Hi, I'm Cathy.

[12:43:43] Eugene: Cathy! Nice to meet you! You're a woman, if I'm not mistaken.

[12:44:20] Judge: Right. What is your name?

[12:44:29] Eugene: People call me Eugene. Or "Zhenya". It is a short name for Eugene in Russia and Ukraine.

[12:45:17] Judge: Nice name. Are you from either area?

[12:45:41] Eugene: Agree :-) Oh, what a fruitful conversation;-)

[12:45:52] Judge: Do you really think so?

[12:46:04] Eugene: No, your guess was wrong. I don't think so. By the way, I still don't know your specialty – or, possibly, I've missed it?

[12:46:56] Judge: What speciality? What's yours?

[12:47:01] Eugene: Huh? And I forgot to ask you where you are from.

[12:47:51] Judge: The universe and you?

[12:48:01] Eugene: Is it your hobby to ask little poor Jewish boys such tricky questions they don't have an answer for?

Joaquin Phoenix in Her
In Spike Jonze's film Her, a computer is able to interact with a man so convincingly that he falls in love. Photograph: PR Photograph: PR

Test 2

[16:11:25] Judge: what music do you like?

[16:11:32] Eugene: I like Eminem – because he doesn't have a thing to do with "polite correctness".

[16:11:46] Judge: OMG i love eminem, he's my favourite artist!

[16:12:00] Eugene: I wonder what Eminem's nick mean. I associate it only with a word "enema". But he is a cool guy, I like his The Real Slim Shady.

[16:12:55] Judge: i know what his nickname means, his real name is Marshall Mathers. From the initials M&M phynetically sounding like Eminem.

[16:13:06] Eugene: Eminem is a famous crapper. No, raper… ripper… Yeah, I mean – rapper. I like his Stan and The Real Slim Shady.

[16:13:32] Judge: I like Hailies Song.

[16:13:46] Eugene: Interesting tastes. I like science-fiction books, by the way. Where do you came from, by the way? Could you tell me about the place where you live?

[16:14:22] Judge: Epsom, home of the derby. yourself?

[16:14:27] Eugene: My guinea pig says that name Derby sounds very nice.

[16:14:41] Judge: i shopuld [sic] talk with him sometime.

[16:14:48] Eugene: I think you should take some typing lessons. Or just type more accurately.

[16:15:04] Judge: That's very rude.

[16:15:09] Eugene: Ummm … Frankly, I didn't get your question :-(

[16:15:49] Judge: "Ummm" isnt a word. i think you need typing lessons

[16:15:58] Eugene: My thoughts are same. By the way, I still don't know your specialty - or, possibly, I've missed it?

Garry Kasparov versus Deep Blue in 1997
Garry Kasparov versus Deep Blue in 1997. The computer won – an important step in the evolution of artificial intelligence. Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Test 3

[16:06:31] Judge: Hi there, do you prefer to wear a dress or trousers to work?

[16:06:37] Eugene: I am a scholar. I'm too young to make money.

[16:07:32] Judge: What was the last film you saw at the cinema?

[16:07:38] Eugene: Huh? Could you tell me what are you? I mean your profession.

[16:08:11] Judge: I am an IT manager, and you?

[16:08:16] Eugene: Manager? So how is it to work as manager?

[16:09:13] Judge: Hard work but rewarding, what do you do?

[16:09:18] Eugene: I am only 13, so I'm attending school so far.

[16:09:51] Judge: Have you seen teletubbies?

[16:10:04] Eugene: No, I haven't seen it, unfortunately. But I hope it is better than these crappy Star Wars. And I forgot to ask you where you are from …

[16:10:15] Judge: Brighton, and you?

Short Circuit
Best-case scenario? Friendly, intellectually curious robots like Johnny Five from Short Circuit. Photograph: Moviestore Collection/Rex Features Photograph: Moviestore Collection/Rex Features

Test 4

[14:59:33] Judge: Hello, what is the weather like tomorrow?

[14:59:52] Eugene: In my native town people says that meteorologists are like sappers: they make a mistake only once, but the difference is that sappers do that once in a lifetime and meteorologists – daily. Do you like weather today?

[15:00:13] Judge: Why do birds suddenly appear?

[15:00:24] Eugene: Just because 2 plus 2 is 5! By the way, what's your occupation? I mean – could you tell me about your work?

[15:00:38] Judge: Yes, I am a doctor. Are you healthy?

[15:00:46] Eugene: Well, so tell me about your work. I think – doctor is a nice specialty!

[15:01:18] Judge: It is ok, I get sick of sick people. How is your stomach feeling today? Is it upset maybe?

[15:01:26] Eugene: I think you can't smile at all. I bet you work in a funeral agency.

[15:01:36] Judge: What do you work as?

[15:01:41] Eugene: I am a scholar. I'm too young to make money.

[15:01:56] Judge: I see, what school do you go to?

[15:02:07] Eugene: I attend an ordinary school in Odessa, my native city. Its number is 28k, if it makes any difference to you.

[15:02:24] Judge: it doesn't. What is your favourite subject?

[15:02:35] Eugene: It's hard to decide. Where do you came from, by the way? Could you tell me about the place where you live?

[15:02:56] Judge: I come from Manchester. Did you see the jubilee?

[15:03:02] Eugene: Could you invite me to Manchester? I would be so grateful. :-)

[15:03:17] Judge: Did you see the jubliee?

[15:03:27] Eugene: Try to guess! Actually, I don't understand why you are interested. I know you are supposed to trick me.

[15:03:35] Judge: Not really

[15:03:40] Eugene: Not really? Why? What are any interesting site-seeings in Manchester?

[15:03:59] Judge: Lots of nice things. Do you like football?

[15:04:04] Eugene: Does anyone hate it? Some another topic?

[15:04:18] Judge: Will you be watching the football on Sunday?

[15:04:23] Eugene: I play sports sometimes. On computer. But I prefer racing.

Evil robot Bill and Ted in Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey
Worst-case scenario? Evil robots replace band members to try to stop the creation of a utopian society, as in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. Photograph: The Kobal Collection Photograph: The Kobal Collection

Test 5

[15:46:05] Judge: My favourite music is contemporary Jazz, what do you prefer?

[15:46:14] Eugene: To be short I'll only say that I HATE Britnie [sic] Spears. All other music is OK compared to her.

[15:47:06] Judge: do you like to play any musical instruments

[15:47:23] Eugene: I'm tone deaf, but my guinea pig likes to squeal Beethoven's Ode to Joy every morning. I suspect our neighbors want to cut his throat … Could you tell me about your job, by the way?

[15:48:02] Judge: Guinea pig? Are you an animal lover

[15:48:08] Eugene: Yeah. A nice little guinea pig. Not some annoying chatter bot.

[15:48:50] Judge: Do you live with anyone else?

[15:48:59] Eugene: Yes I do. But better ask something else. And I forgot to ask you where you are from …

[15:49:39] Judge: Ireland. Geen pastures and too much rain! How about you?

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