Essay On in Your Opinion, Is the Turing Test a Good Way To Determine Whether a Machine (or AI Program) Has a Mind? Why or Why Not?

Published: 2021/11/23
Number of words: 975

The 21st century has seen a lot of technological developments, including the development of machines that exhibit human intelligence. It is vital to note that the human mind is designed in such a manner that it can process information and make meaningful conclusions (Whitby, 1996). One of the challenges posed by the excessive use of AI technology is on machines having the ability to function as humans. The Turing test is a comprehensive technique that can be applied to determine whether a machine has human intelligence. It is vital to critically examine the Turing test in a bid to ascertain its suitability in assessing whether a machine can think. Humans are different from machines since they have the ability to think and draw meaningful conclusions out of a situation (Yampolskiy, 2013). The paper’s primary aim is to argue in favor of the Turing test as a strategic approach to testing human intelligence in a machine. The essay focuses on the theory, which forms a fundamental aspect in the development of the theory of artificial intelligence.

The Turing test is a strategic technique to measure a machine’s ability to reason and make decisions like humans. The first argument in favor of the test is the foundational basis that forms the test (Harnad, 1992). A machine should have the ability to converse with a human without the individual realizing whether it is a machine. The fact that one cannot detect whether it is a machine makes it easier to test its intelligence. The test believes in the idea that AI should serve as an alternative to the human mind in a machine. However, some machines cannot execute some tasks as designed, which is why there is a need for a rigorous strategy to test human intelligence. The Turing test is a good way of testing human intelligence in the application of AI, as it seeks to assess the presence of a mind in a machine or program (Whitby, 1996). There are many strategies that can be used to assess a program or machine’s intelligence, but the Turing test has proved to be more strategic.

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The Turing test attributes to an interrogator and a machine or AI program, which should be compared to a standard measure of intelligence. The human mind is a standard measure of intelligence for thinking critically, humanly, and drawing meaningful conclusions (Levesque, 2017). The test proposes that a machine or AI program should have the ability to demonstrate human-like abilities. The machine under test should exhibit similar abilities to those seen in the interrogator, as a show of human intelligence. As such, the Turing test is an opportune technique to compare humans and machines in a bid to test the presence of intelligence in AI. If a machine fails to reason or produce an effect similar to that of a human mind, it lacks human intelligence.

The test proposes that a machine should produce similar results when subjected to a test in competition with a human (Moor, 2003). For instance, if a machine can answer questions in a similar manner to that of a human, then it can be said to have a mind. The mind allows an individual to think in each situation and provide the required feedback. The feedback from the machine or program under test should show similarity as a display of intelligence (French, 2000). Machines that produce similar effects as those of the human mind can be said to be intelligent. The Turing test is good enough to test for human intelligence in AI or a specific program.

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On the other hand, the Turin test might not be rigorous enough to assess a machine’s ability to think like a human (Yampolskiy, 2013). Critics of the test argue that a machine can be designed with the ability to think but cannot have a mind of its own. To them, machines are dependent on the mind of humans to code different programs and evoke intelligence. To some extent, the test’s critique is true as machines do not have a brain that helps it functions (Harnad, 1992). In most cases, machines receive instructions from humans, which is why they are not independent. The critiques assert that the complexity of the human thought process cannot be coded.

In conclusion, the Turing test is a comprehensive technique that can be used to test the ability of a machine or program to think like a human. The study argues in favor of the suitability of the test in assessing human intelligence in machines. The foundational principles of the Turing test make a strong argument in favor of the technique. For instance, comparing results from a machine and that of a human can be helpful in assessing whether there is similarity. The Turing test has faced criticism as machines might not have a mind of its own. AI programs have the ability to think but might not entirely be independent of the human brain. In essence, the Turing test is strategic and forms a suitable way of assessing whether a machine has a mind.


French, R.M., 2000. The Turing Test: the first 50 years. Trends in cognitive sciences4(3), pp.115-122.

Harnad, S., 1992. The Turing Test is not a trick: Turing indistinguishability is a scientific criterion. ACM SIGART Bulletin3(4), pp.9-10.

Levesque, H.J., 2017. Common sense, the Turing test, and the quest for real AI. MIT Press.

Moor, J. ed., 2003. The Turing test: the elusive standard of artificial intelligence (Vol. 30). Springer Science & Business Media.

Whitby, B., 1996. The turing test: AI’s biggest blind alley?’. Machines and thought: The legacy of Alan Turing1, pp.53-62.

Yampolskiy, R.V., 2013. Turing test as a defining feature of AI-completeness. In Artificial intelligence, evolutionary computing and metaheuristics (pp. 3-17). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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