Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Computer That Thinks Like a Person?

Are you familiar with the Turing Test? The Turing The Turing is measure of artificial intelligence. It is arrived at if a human can have a conversation with a machine and not know they are talking to a machine. If so the computer or more to the point, it's programming is thought to be as 'intelligent' as a human. In most cases however the programs simply mimic how a person reacts and is easily caught when asked to perform outside it's program parameters.

Now there is a program called "CLARION", a program that performs the same way human subjects does in cognitive tests. It provides results that are not so much what we think, as earlier programs did, but how we think. And that is a huge difference.

When programmed, Clarion was not filled with pat human responses but a set of rules instead that were modeled on how human subjects went about solving a problem.

From the IO9 article on how the results were formulated:
  • When humans were asked to discuss their thoughts about the problem prior to giving a solution, they answered correctly 35.6 percent of the time. When they were assigned another task, interrupting their work on the problem before going back to thinking about it, they answered correctly 45.8 percent of the time.
This is what happened when Clarion was put to the same conditions:
  • When CLARION solved problems under similar conditions, the results uncannily mirrored those of human subjects. Five thousand runs of the program returned a correct result 35.3 percent of the time when the scientists imposed conditions similar to a human 'discussing' their work, and 45.3 percent of a time when it was interrupted to work on another task.
Does this mean that the program is thinking just like a person? Well, not really, but it does show some of the possibilities and what we can expect from expert systems in the future.

Wiki Turing Test article complete IO9 article Wiki article on Cognitive Architecture

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