More than a a third of Royal Society testers have been fooled by a super computer into thinking that it was a 13 year old boy.
Five machines were tested at the Royal Society in central London to see if they could fool people into thinking they were humans during text-based conversations.
The test was devised in 1950 by computer science pioneer and World War II code breaker Alan Turing, who said that if a machine was indistinguishable from a human, then it was “thinking”.
So far no computer has passed the Turing test, which requires 30 percent of human interrogators to be duped during a series of five minute keyboard conversations.
“Eugene Goostman”, a computer program developed to simulate a 13-year-old boy, managed to convince 33 percent of the judges that it was human, the university said.
Professor Kevin Warwick, from the University of Reading, said: “In the field of artificial intelligence there is no more iconic and controversial milestone than the Turing test.
“It is fitting that such an important landmark has been reached at the Royal Society in London, the home of British science and the scene of many great advances in human understanding over the centuries. This milestone will go down in history as one of the most exciting.”
The successful machine was created by Russian-born Vladimir Veselov, who lives in the United States, and Ukrainian Eugene Demchenko who lives in Russia.
Of course a 13 year old boy is not difficult to simulate. The computer had to have an incredibly slow start up time, not say much and mumble, but it was a start.
The event on Saturday was poignant as it took place on the 60th anniversary of the death of Turing, who laid the foundations of modern computing.