No computer can yet pass the ‘Turing test’ and be taken as human. But, says Marcus du Sautoy, the hunt for artificial intelligence is moving in a different, exciting direction that involves creativity, language – and even jazz.
‘I propose to consider the question “Can machines think?”‘ Not my question but the opening of Alan Turing’s seminal 1950 paper which is generally regarded as the catalyst for the modern quest to create artificial intelligence. His question was inspired by a book he had been given at the age of 10: Natural Wonders Every Child Should Know by Edwin Tenney Brewster. The book was packed with nuggets that fired the young Turing’s imagination including the following provocative statement: