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Humanity Close to Passing the Hofstadter-Turing Test?

By Technology Review

April 28, 2009

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Researchers at the University of Paderborn in Germany say they have moved closer to passing the Hofstadter-Turing Test. Posed by Douglas Hofstadter in 1982, the test challenges researchers to create a virtual reality that can create a computer program within that reality, which must then recognize itself as an entity within the virtual environment. Paderborn's Florentin Neumann and colleagues say they have implemented a version of the Hofstadter-Turing Test in the Second Life virtual world.

"We have succeeded in implementing within Second Life the following virtual scenario: a keyboard, a projector, and a display screen," Neumann says. "An avatar may use the keyboard to start and play a variant of game classic Pac-Man, i.e. control its movements via arrow keys." They consider their work as 2.5 levels of the Hofstadter-Turing Test, generously recognizing the intelligence of the ghosts as they pursue Pac-Man, although they are unlikely to work in other versions of the Turing Test.

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