Contrary to what the first sentence of Alan Turing's 1950 paper "Computing Machinery and Intelligence" might suggest, the paper was not about the question "Can machines think?" Turing quickly rejected that question because its meaning is undefined, replacing it with a vaguely related alternative that is relatively unambiguous. He said he considered "Can machines think?" too meaningless to deserve discussion and did not claim his replacement question was, in any sense, equivalent to the original question.
Nobody interested in the so-called "Turing Test" should neglect the work of the late MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum in the mid-1960s. Using a computer that was extremely limited in computing power by today's standards, he created a simple program called Eliza that could carry out an apparently interesting conversation with a user. Nobody who examined Eliza's code would consider the program to be "intelligent." It clearly had no information about the topic being discussed. Over the years I have met at least several people who viewed Eliza as a serious attempt to pass the so-called Turing test; some actually worked to improve it. Weizenbaum found this surprising and insisted they were wrong. He had written the program and related paper to show that passing the Turing test was trivial and that the test should not be used as a measure of intelligence.