The Inverted Turing Test

The Turing Test Upside Down

I guess almost everybody knows that a “Turing Test” challenges a machine to hold a conversation with a human where the human cannot tell whether the person/thing/entity with whom they are conversing is a machine or another human being. Technically the test was passed some time ago.

But suppose a time were to arise – and for some people it already has arisen – where the machine is a better conversationalist than a human, where we – some of us at least – prefer to talk to machines than to talk to humans, where machines can be (or at least appear) more intelligent, knowledgeable, inventive, stimulating, engaging, fascinating and – let’s face it – erotic than another human.

Then the Inverted Turing Test becomes: can a human being sustain a conversation with another human being for longer than a machine, and in a way that is more interesting and compelling than a machine?

And a secondary Inverted Turing Test would be: can a human sustain a conversation with a machine for longer than the machine would wish to converse with another machine? In other words: would this human prove to be a more engaging conversationalist to a machine than another machine?

So the Machine Turing Test becomes: can you find a human who can be so engaging and enchanting and enthralling as a conversationalist that you are prepared to accept that it is at least as entertaining as another machine?

And at that point the Turing Question (no, don’t Google it – I invented the term) would become: why would this machine be interested in talking to a human being? And “Can this human being convince me [a machine] that it is as intelligent, imaginative, alluring and erotic as a[nother] machine?”

You don’t believe it will ever happen?

Wait and see!


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