The Lonely & The Turing Test Background

Homework 2: The Lonely & The Turing Test Background: 1. Make sure you are familiar with the well-known Turing Test for AI, and not just superficially, but in some depth. You can find tons of information online and/or on our eLearning site if you’re unfamiliar with it. But in particular, read The Trouble With The Turing Test, by Mark -Halpern. 2. Watch the three-segment version of the Twilight Zone episode called, The Lonely, on eLearning. 3. Prepare a short essay that discusses all or most of the following issues/points. You can argue pro or con, but please support your arguments with referential material, not solely opinion. 4. Write approximately 1,500 words or more on this subject, using the following questions as starting discussion points. Your paper must be well written, typed, and it must exhibit good grammar. Discussion: There is a famous episode of the Twilight Zone TV series called The Lonely. (It is Season 1, Episode 7.) It is considered by many to be one of the all-time, top 10 episodes of The Twilight Zone of which there were 156. Even more, it is probably one of the most quoted and referred to movies in modern AI texts that deal with AI and emotional, sentient robots. The main impact of the story relates to intelligent robots, AI, the Turing Test, artificial emotions, artificial consciousness, ethics & AI, human-machine relationships, the uncanny valley, and more. We will discuss many of these topics as we progress through this course. There are numerous questions we can explore in this short film, but some of the most obvious concern the Turing Test, ethics, the suspension of disbelief (both willing and unwilling) and the robot Alicia. As you watch, ask yourself whether Alicia passes the Turing Test. Many people will automatically say she does. If so, how does she, and perhaps more importantly, when does she? If she didn’t pass it, how did Corry come to consider her (it??) to be a human, as he strongly proclaims to the supply ship’s captain Allenby at the end? Corry even proclaims that Alicia is his wife; “She’s a woman!” he exclaims! How does this happen, given that he initially detests her, believes she mocks him, and is furious that earthlings even sent him a robot? And note that he was earlier given that old touring car jalopy – another machine — for company/amusement; this is to remind us that Alicia is also a machine, albeit of a significantly different sort – but still a machine, as Allenby reminds Corry at the end of the film. If interested, search the web for some phrase such as this: “why the Turing Test is useless.” You will find lots of materials that attack this test as being of little use given today’s particular technological advancements. There is a video on our eLearning site of an interview with famed AI scientist Marvin Minsky. You might enjoy watching it: Marvin Minsky on AI: The Turing Test is a Joke! (Because it is quite slow, you might want to fast-forward to around 17:40. BTW, Prof. Minsky was Ray Kurzweil’s Ph.D. advisor at MIT.) But also definitely check out this article: The Trouble With The Turing Test, published in the New Atlantis. or on eLearning But note that this is just one of many articles critical of the Turing Test. You can find many more. As we enter deeper into the age of “intelligent” and “emotional” robots – industrial, educational, infrastructural, retail, safety, companions, et al – will we force them prove their intelligence to us or is intelligence an aspect of “being-ness” that we will simply attribute to them. And how exactly will we define “machine intelligence” if the Turing Test is really no help? Perhaps even more difficult, is consciousness something that humans must prove to us, or is it too something we simply attribute to others? We have no way to accurately define or even test for consciousness. (Are animals conscious and self-aware? How would you know?) So, when and how will we merely attribute these qualities to robots, or will we make them prove them to us? (What did Corry do with Alicia?) Check out The Lonely to get some ideas and prepare a short essay on these questions and your thoughts, or on other questions and concepts you’re more intrigued with. Here are some questions I’d like you to consider addressing. I’d like to receive good, solid analysis. 1. What are some of the ironic statements that Corry makes at the beginning of the film that turn out differently than what he believes? What made him change his beliefs, actions, and relationship with Aleisha and why? What does this tell us about human nature and ethics? 2. Was it ethical for Allenby to shoot Aleisha at the end of the film? Did he have good, rational reasons for doing so? Why or why not? If Aleisha were a human, would your answers differ? 3. Was it murder for Allenby to shoot Aleisha? Should it be illegal to kill/terminate robots or other computationally conscious AIs such as Aleisha? 4. Was Corry’s reaction to Allenby’s shooting of Aleisha credible given the rest of the film and Corry’s statements about loving Aleisha, that she’s a woman, his wife, etc.? Is his reaction explainable? Would you react similarly? Why or why not? 5. Is Aleisha really just a machine? How can you make that determination? Aren’t we just machine? According to Rodney Brooks we are, as I showed on the back cover of his book. Consider carbon-based machines (like us) vs. silicon-based machines. 6. What if you work on a project that produces what is deemed by you (and possibly others) to be a conscious, emotional being, and then you are called to terminate the project for business reasons and to destroy these conscious, emotional “beings” that your group has created? Remember, you will likely have interacted with them numerous times, formed friendships/relationships with them, shared jokes and experiences with them, etc. 7. Would artificially conscious (real or computed) robots have the moral/ethical right to claim “personhood”? Would we have the moral/ethical right to deny their claims if we don’t like them? 8. What associated issues can you think of that might impact your professional responsibilities in your career as a Computer Scientist (SE, CE, NE, etc.)? This might be the toughest question. 9. What are your thoughts on either Minsky’s or Halpern’s discussion and disparagement of the Turing Test?

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