What Babies Can Tell Us About Artificial Intelligence

They may outwit the chess Grandmaster Kasparov, but can machines ever be as smart as a three-year-old?

“Instead of trying to produce a program to simulate the adult mind, why not rather try to produce one which simulates the child’s?” Alan Turing, 1950.

In an “Ideas Lab” discussion at Davos on 20 January, four academics from Berkeley, my university, will be debating whether computers can (Or will? Or might sometime in the future? Or can’t possibly?) make decisions better than people (the tenses are a big part of the debate).

The group will include a roboticist, a computer scientist, a neuroscientist and me – a developmental psychologist. Why will I be there? It turns out that children are a crucial but under-appreciated part of the debate over artificial intelligence.

Turing’s intelligence test

Everyone remembers that Alan Turing proposed the imitation game to test whether a machine was intelligent. If a human being sat at a keyboard and couldn’t tell whether she was talking to a machine or a person, then the machine would have passed “the Turing test.”

Almost no one remembers that in the very same paper Turing suggested that the key to achieving intelligence would be to design a machine that was like a —> Read More Here


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *