The Turing Test for computers has been passed for the first time in history, marking a revolution in computer software design.
Eugene Goostman was billed as "the weirdest creature in the world." Subjects asked him questions, via computer, to which they received answers. What one-third of the subjects did not realize was that the young Goostman wasn't even a human being - their questions were being answered by a fully-automated computer.
Alan Turing was a revolutionary computer designer, active in the middle of the 20th Century. In 1950, he proposed a test, now named after him, for artificial intelligence. That test involved human subjects asking questions through a keyboard, to which they would receive answers. After the tests, volunteers would be asked about the entity on the other side of the screen. If any computer fooled 30 percent of those taking part in the experiment, the system would be considered to have passed the test. This new interactive software is the first to ever succeed.
Vladimir Veselov, a Russian living in the United States, and Eugene Demchenko, a Ukrainian scientist in Russia headed the experiment. The test took place at London's Royal Society. Five machines were tested, and this system was the only one to pass the "ultimate test" of artificial intelligence.
Developers first demonstrated Eugene to the world in 2001, so the computer program is the same age as its human persona.
Alan Turning developed systems and new technologies for the allies during the Second World War. His contributions to the war significantly shortened the war against Germany, saving thousands of lives.
The Universal Machine designed by Turing pioneered many technologies in use in the modern day. His ideas included the first easily-programmable computers, with instructions read from a reusable tape.
"We owe him a huge debt. His Universal Machine idea laid the logical and mathematical foundations of the technology you're using to read this," Stephen Fry, a researcher of the Royal Society, said.
However, the British government learned after the conflict that Turing was homosexual and sentenced him to chemical castration in 1952. He committed suicide two years later. In December 2013, the government of Britain gave the late codebreaker a posthumous pardon.
In 2011, a machine was said to pass the Turing Test, by fooling 59 percent of respondents. However, that system drew on answers previously developed by humans, and was not considered by most observers to be an example of a true Turing Test.