Robert W Chambers 1895

in th’ auld Scottis leid

 

Alang th' shore th' clood waves break,

The twin suns sink behind th' lake,

The shadows lengthen

In Carcosa.

 

(A Robert Burns / Seanan McQuire Fan-Fic Mash-Up)

 

Tae ye ah kin be a wee timorous beastie;

A' sleeket 'n' quivering ’n’ cowrin’ in mah breestie

Ah’ must start awa hasty.

Yet yer laith to rin an’ chase me

Wi’ murd’ring pattle? 

The news was going around this summer that "A Supercomputer Has Passed the Turing Test for the First Time." That article has several issues with it, not the least of which is the misleading headline, but when you read through, you notice irregularities.  The initial press release was quietly corrected to note that the program, "Eugene Goostman" was not a "supercomputer." The press release mentions that the program "pretends" to be a 13-year-old boy from the Ukraine, not fully fluent in English. Right away I see warning flags... but hey.

TURING TEST SUCCESS MARKS MILESTONE IN COMPUTING HISTORY

Let's set aside the fact that the "Eugene Goostman" claim is not the first.  Let's set aside that the participants didn't even manage to "beat" the test by the biggest recorded margin as they claim. Let's ignore that this program wasn't a "supercomputer" but a chatbot. Let's forgive that it passes the test by gaming the rules in a specific way. Set that ALL aside. Let's say just for the sake of argument that by some miracle we have on our hands a truly sentient machine -- That this is not simply further evidence that the "Turing Test" as presently modified to a state Turing wouldn't recognize, is bunk.

If the machine is sentient, what then?

I find that setting goals for myself is hard, and sticking to them even harder. My tendency then, is to keep my goals modest. Thus, with my writing my goal isn't to write the Great American Novel, or to even write a decent short story and submit it for publication.

My goal is to write five hundred words.