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David Flores
ENGH 302
Professor Thompson
15 August 2015
Alan Turing’s Machine Intelligence & IBM’s Watson
To date IBM’s Watson is the closest machine to resemble Alan Turing’s thought on
machine intelligence. Alan Turing was interested and focused on the power of the computer to
rival human thought. He asked questions such as “Can machines think?” Or can a machine learn?
This idea of machine learning came about in his first piece written for Sir Charles Darwin,
Director of NPL in the summer of 1948 titled “Intelligent Machinery”. Turing’s “Intelligent
Machinery” also proposed machine learning. Machine learning later came to be known as
machine intelligence. In 1950 Turing published “Computing Machine and learning”. In this piece
he proposed that a machine could be intelligent. This was the start of machine intelligence. This
thought contributed to what is now known as the field of Artificial Intelligence. Turing was well
aware that a machine could be intelligent, but how does one define intelligence? Further more
how do humans measure a machines intelligence? Turing stated that humans as individuals
would ultimately define intelligence. Humans would make this judgment based on weather or not
they understood the functions of the object in question. If a human could understand how the
object operated then it was not intelligent. Vise versa if a human couldn’t understand how the
object operated then they would be inclined to believe that the object was intelligent. It is clear
here that he did not want to limit the human’s ability to explore machine intelligence. Turing was
ahead of his time, and still is today. Through his own factual statements you will see that Turing
wanted his work to live on and not limit it to a mere vision or humans definition of intelligence.
Who is Alan Mathison Turing? According to Hodges (2012), Alan Mathison Turing was
born June 23, 1912 in Paddington, England within London, United Kingdom. Turing was a
British computer scientist, logician, mathematician, philosopher cryptanalyst, mathematical
biologist, and both marathon and ultra distance runner. Turing attended Sherborn School,
University of Cambridge, and Princeton University. Amongst several locations, Turing also
taught at the University of Manchester. In March of 1946, Turing went to the University of
Manchester and decided to start looking into machine intelligence. Turing came up with
something that is known as the “Imitation Game” or “Turing test”. This test would determine if
whether or not a human could make a distinction between a machine and another human. In short
there is one judge who is human, a human, and a machine. If the judge can make a distinction
between which of the two objects is a machine or human then it doesn’t pass the test. On June 8,
1954, Turing was found dead by his bed on a suspicious account of cyanide poising, later ruled
as suicide. Turing never directly defined machine intelligence. In 1956, machine intelligence
transformed into the field of Artificial intelligence. The term comes from Dartmouth Summer
Research Project on Artificial Intelligence held at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire.
I: Thesis
To date IBM’s Watson is the closest machine to resemble Alan Turing’s thought on machine
Introduction of Turing and what he thought (Father of AI)
Turing Definition on Machine thinking
Work that has been done in the AI field sense and other contributors
III: Different thoughts on Artificial Intelligence and how we define AI –
How the thought Of AI has evolved over time and how it is defined today
Are we at Turing definition of machine thinking?
IV: What is The Watson –
How does it relate to Turing’s 1950 definition of machine learning? THIS IS A KEY SECTION
How the Watson Relates to other Robots –
V: Introduce other robots that imitate Artificial Intelligence –
VI: Conclusion – To date the Watson is the closest to Turing definition of Artificial
Why should we or should we not continue to work towards a Machine that can have human
Annotated Bibliography:
Hodges, A., & Hofstadter, D. (2012). Alan Turing the enigma (Centenary ed.). Princeton,
New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Andrew Hodges is a tutor in mathematics and published this biography on Alan Mathison
Turing in 1983. He is a big contributor to the field of mathematics. This book goes on to describe
Alan Turing and talks about some of his most famously known break throughs in the computer
industry. IT also focuses on Turing’s devotion to his work and takes us back through the history
of Turing. The information I plan to get out of this source is on “The Imitation game”. “The
Imitation Game” is also known as the Turing test. I will use this source in order to further help
me understand Turings philosophy and life.
Leavitt, D. (2006). The man who knew too much: Alan Turing and the invention of the
computer. New York, New York: W.W. Norton.
David Leavitt wrote “The man who knew too Much….”. This is another book an Alan Mathison
Turing but focuses a little more philosophically on what it is Turing wanted to do with his work.
Leavitt graduated from Yale University and previously taught at Princeton University. He is
currently a professor at the University of Florida. Leavitt is a writer, which would explain why
his book to me also came easy to read. I plan to use this source to my advantage and support my
argument. I plan to use direct quotes of Turing that are in this book. There are this said by Turing
to the extent of; If a machine can’t be wrong then it cant be smart, The machine interprets what
ever it is told without humor “One must say what one means”, discipline and intuition both
produce intelligence, and intelligence is defined by the human that knows or doesn’t know how
something functions, for example; if man 1 understand how a computer works and man 2 doesn’t
understand how it works, which is more likely to call the computer intelligent? Man 2, because
he only see’s the direct sophistication and does not understand how it fully operates.
Copeland, J.B. (2013). Turing: Pioneer of the Information Age. Oxford, United Kingdom:
Oxford University Press.
Brian Jack Copeland is a professor of philosophy at the university of Canterbury,
Christchurch, New Zealand. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in philosophy.
This book is one of the most inspirational biographies I have ever read. I will use this book to
make several points in my argument. This book has two major quotes that will shape my
argument. Alan Turing Defines Machine intelligence “The extent to which we regard something
as behaving in an intelligent manner” he said “is determined as much by our own state of mind
and training as by the properties of the object under consideration”. AI chief Donald Michie
believes that intelligence is a rather more objective thing. Human level intelligence is marked by
the ability to make plausible shot at almost anything” If a machine can be built with that same
ability, then it’s intelligent, period. I will state both opinions on what they thought as Human
intelligence and state the differences in points of view.
Turing, A., & Copeland, B. (2004). Essential Turing : Classic Writings on Minds and
Computers. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
Copeland wrote this book with the help and support of several others. He started writing
it in 2000 and published it in 2004. This book is 613 Pages long and gives an in depth view of
Turing’s accomplishments and his contribution’s to the world. Furthermore I plan to use this
book to help me define what Turing meant by “Intelligence requires two things, Discipline and
Initiative”. This information can be found specifically on page 429 however Chapters 10 -13 are
specific on machine intelligence. “To convert a brain or machine into a universal machine is the
extremest form of discipline.” Copeland also explores machine thinking and learning.
Teuscher, C. (2004). Alan Turing: Life and legacy of a great thinker. Berlin, Heidelberg: