Speed Reads

The future has arrived

Computer dupes humans into thinking it's a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy


Eugene Goostman is a perfectly normal 13-year-old boy in every way, except that he's a computer.

In a milestone for the development of artificial intelligence, the Goostman program became the first to ever pass the Turing Test, which requires that a computer convince at least 30 percent of humans it's one of them and not a soulless bunch of ones and zeroes. Computer whiz Alan Turing devised the test back in the 1950s, and it has remained a symbolic threshold for the AI community ever since.

A Russian team designed Goostman, and the program succeeded on Saturday in duping 33 percent of the judges at a contest in London. Despite the success though, the robocalypse is not yet upon us: Goostman only had to hold court for five minutes about guinea pigs, candy, and his gynecologist father, so we're still a long way from truly terrifying autonomous bots.