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.


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?

(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? 

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.


I’m issuing an art challenge to any and all illustrators fan and pro. Delightful Steampunk Multi-Ethnic Fairy Seamstresses with Rocket Packs. Draw them, paint them, sculpt them. All the results are yours to do with as you wish. The below text is from my notes on my work-in-progress “Shrödinger’s Lincolns” or “The Notorious Case of the Four Missing Presidencies” in which Abraham Lincoln is both dead as of 1865 and dead as of 1883, and this is creating all manner of multiversal chaos.