Turing’s six Turing’s progressive prediction that in fifty years-time

Turing’s central claim, “Can Machines
Think?” is introduced in section one with much scepticism and discussed
over the course of six remaining sections. To define ‘machinery’
and ‘think’ in a less conventional manner, Turing came up with the
‘The Imitation Game,’ a game played by a man (A) and a woman (B) who are placed
in the same room and an interrogator (C) who is placed separate to them, whose
aim is to discern who the players are through written communication. Turing shifts the initial question to asking what would happen if
the machine were to replicate A. However, in section two Turing
critiques the approach and in section three considers that the term
‘machine’ ought to be defined. Turing shows
particular interest for one machine, the digital computer, which he unpacks in section
four by regarding its three constituent parts, the store, the executive
unit and the control. Section five… In section six Turing’s progressive
prediction that in fifty years-time it would be possible for a computer to
perfectly play the Imitation Game was not well accepted. Here, Turing outlines
nine objections going against his belief about machines being able to think and
gives a response to each accordingly. The Theological Objection contends
that thinking is innately human, which neither animals nor machines have the
ability of doing. Turing writes in disagreement suggesting that the objection
places man in a position of supremacy. The ‘Heads in the Sand’ Objection
conveys worry for the future possibility of machines as being able to
think and places Mankind in a stance of superiority over the rest of creations.

To this, Turing does not offer a response. The Mathematical Objection sheds
light on the superiority of mankind through Gödel’s theorem to suggest that
machines have limitations. Turing responds by suggesting that just like
machines have limitations, human intellect does too. The Argument from
Consciousness argues, from a solipsist view, that in order to know that
machines can think, one has to become the machine itself. Turing believes that
this objection ought to be overlooked. The Arguments from Various
Disabilities considers some of the features which machines do not
have, such as having a sense of humour, falling in love and so forth. Turing
suggests that the inability of machines to carry out such features are a result
of the limited storage capacity available and that an increase of it will
enable machines to fulfill such features. The Lady Lovelace’s objection, claims
that the Analytical Engine fails to come up with new and original creations and
that machines are incapable of surprising humans. Turing’s response to this
objection suggests that…
The Argument from Continuity in the Nervous System argues that the
human’s nervous system cannot be replicated by a machine. Turing’s response
suggests that… The
Argument from Informality of Behaviour contends
that machines cannot work on the basis of rules as Man cannot provide a single
set rule for every circumstance that is to happen. Turing argues that
acting based on a set of rules would not make man better than machines. The Argument from Extra-Sensory Perception contends that humans possess extrasensory perceptions and that as
such these could be used to determine… Turing believed that such an objection
could be relevant to the notion of machine thinking. After presenting the reader with a series of objections and responses,
Turing delves deeper into his own views over the matter in section seven.

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He considered programming to be the chief problem and thus came to think of
machines in relation to the process and the education which has brought a
child’s mind to become an adult mind. Through experimenting and educating the
machine an evolutionary process could be replicated. However, Turing believed
that a random element would provide the machine with a more intelligent


Turing’s work stands out from the rest of
the sources due to its progressive nature. It is remarkable how Turing was able
to foresee the potential of technology. Turing’s work does not share an
explicit relation with any other of the sources within this annotated
bibliography but it does provide a new way to question technology and its
capabilities. Just like Benjamin’s work provides the grounds for creative and
artistic discourse, this article provides the grounds for technology,
post-humanism and the worth of human beings in relation to technology. However,
Turing’s work does hold some theoretical and methodological limitations. His
work conveys a feeling of incompleteness and vagueness on the notion of
thinking machines.