Intelligent Machinery Turing Essay

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The Turing Machine was first described by Alan Turing in his 1936 paper On Computable Numbers, where he originally called it an "automatic-machine." A Turing Machine is not intended to be a practical computer but a thought experiment intended to help computer scientists understand the limits of mechanical computation.

It is a device that manipulates symbols such as 1's and 0's contained on a strip of tape and, despite its simplicity, can be adapted to simulate the logic of any computer algorithm, thereby simulating the functions of the CPU inside of a computer.

The goal of those being interrogated is to fool the interrogator.

Thus, Turing rephrases his initial question: “Will the interrogator decide wrongly as often when the game is played like this as he does when the game is played between a man and a woman?

Turing’s paper attempts to answer the question, ‘Can machines think?

’ His approach is both philosophical and technical, with even the technical sections seeming more philosophical than truly technical.To what extent are contemporary computer programs ‘intelligent’ and what does this mean for the concept of new media? If the computer is meant to at least partially externalize human thought, is it telling that the computer is increasingly absorbing all old media? He defines the digital computer to be those machines “intended to carry out any operations which could be done by a human computer.The human computer is supposed to be following fixed rules; he has no authority to deviate from them in any detail.” [3] Turing argues that the digital computer, through proper programming, can imitate any other similar ‘discrete state machines.’ It would therefore be unnecessary to use any machine other than the digital computer in the imitation game—i.e., Turing argues that only digital computers have the potential to mirror the human thought process.Consequently, I believe that this text offers a Mc Luhanistic view of the medium of the computer.[6] Furthermore, although this article was written before the “convergence of two separate historical trajectories” [7] and the subsequent creation of new media, I believe that in order to understand and appreciate the ways in which we relate to new media, we need to understand the historical precedence of each historical trajectory. Turing opens his investigation by claiming that an answer to the question can be found by subjecting machines to what he calls the “imitation game.” [1] Two people and one machine play the game, with one of the persons acting as interrogator.By asking questions of both the machine and the other person, the interrogator attempts to deduce who is machine and who is human.Is it significant to new media today that computers were at one point expected to parallel human thought? Is contemporary computer design still attempting to achieve AI?


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