Who is Alan M Turing ? What is the Turing Test?

We all have been often discussing about technology, computer and programming. But we often time miss the facts and the importance that Mathematicians, Philanthropists, Scientists have put into inventing the so the called “Thinking Machine”. I know many regard and value the importance of the computer and inventor “Charles Babbage” but one lesser know fact is that computer in the early 1900’s was just a mere calculator solving simple mathematical challenges.

The breakthrough of the thought of computer through processing and conducting complex tasks were firstly acknowledged by the German Mathematician David Hilbert in the early 1900’s. Once believed that that it was nearly impossible to create a complex machine to think and work like human. That brings us Dr. Alan Mathison Turing.

Who is Alan Turing and what is turing test

Dr. Alan Mathison Turing, was an English Mathematician, Computer Scientist and Logician also known as “The Father of Modern Computer Science.” A computer we know today, the modern thinking machine was brought to us as a reality by Dr. Alan Turing’s imagination of creating fundamental principals of computer programming which is used even today. Unfortunately due to him being homosexual he was disregarded of his contributions, though not completely erased from history, his major testing protocol designed to test artificial intelligence has gained limelight.


Dr. Alan Turing designed a protocol or series of commands that a computer can adapt and follow and provide a required output, but in all the given situations a computer was to be given a set of guidelines that it needs to follow, based on these principles a series of engineers and mathematicians evolved various generations of computers that moved from extensive mechanical formulations to more of computing elements. This is where thoughts about creating a machine with deep learning and artificial intelligence evolved, where in many mathematicians disregarded the thought of a machine thinking like a human. The greatest challenge that Artificial Intelligence lacks even today is common sense.

Isn’t it funny that we humans disregard the fact of common sense to be of not much importance, but this is the only reason why computers or the Artificial Intelligence couldn’t pass the Turing test in the past!

below is the illustration on Turing Test

Illustration 1. The Turing Test by Dr. Alan Mathison Turing

The Turing Test is an imitation game designed by late Dr. Alan Mathison Turing in 1950, to measure the capabilities of a computer on its thinking ability in comparison with human beings. At this time the initial concept of artificial intelligence was derived. As shown in the above Illustration, the Turing test requires 3 components,

1. Computer (Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven)

2. A Human Participant

3. A Human Questioner or Judge

In order for the Turing test to work, the judge or the Questioner asks a series of questions to the AI driven Computer and the human participant, this series of questions are asked to monitor the thought process of the AI on its creative element and thoughtfulness. Replicating a human brain by itself isn’t easy, because its nature’s best biological machine and anything mimicking a human brain needs to quantified on three elements which includes logic, emotion and common sense.


Though Turing test had its principle’s designed firmly, ever since the AI Eliza successfully passed the Turing test for the first time, the test showed certain flaws which missed on considering the human emotions, common sense, thoughtful ideas also it was still far away from real thinking.

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In this test the answers were limited to a ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ which lacked detailing and explanation on choice of such an answer, it was hugely criticized for its major limitation of majorly considering the intellectual attribute of human brain, where it was important for the Artificial Intelligence to understand human emotions, desires, wishes and dreams as these are primary motivators for any human being.

Despite of all the limitation we still believe that Dr. Alan Turing definitely has made a significant contribution to field of computer science. Not just limiting to computing but also with an exuberant vision of AI to be for in 50 years. Well , to say the least he wasn’t wrong.

We would love to hear from you so please feel free to leave a comment below and also share your love by liking and sharing this post as it would encourage me to explore more related posts!

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