Alan Turing's famous test has become the north star for generations of artificial intelligence (AI) pioneers. For decades, they have labored mightily to mimic basic human skills, with wild success: AI that can hold conversations; draw pictures; or play expert rounds of chess, Go, and fast-paced video games.
But now some AI thinkers wonder whether we have succeeded a little too well—at the wrong task. Mimicking human abilities, they believe, has led to direct economic competition between people and machines. Maybe Turing led us astray and copying humans was the wrong goal.
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