Deconstruction and Technology

  • Timothy Clark


In 1950 the English mathematician Alan Turing, one of the inventors of the computer, proposed a thought experiment that has since become crucial in debates about ‘machine intelligence’ (Turing, 1950). In his ‘imitation game’ Turing proposed that three players, each in separate rooms, be allowed to communicate by writing. Two of the players, a man and a woman, are questioned by the third, a judge. The man’s task is to convince the judge that he is in fact a she. He wins if the judge either cannot decide or decides wrongly about the gender of the other player.1 Turing then proposed that the place of the man be taken by an ‘intelligent’ machine. The game remains the same, but the role of the judge is now to decide which of the players is human. Turing proposed the imitation game as a pragmatic way to deal with the question ‘can machines think?’ It has long been known as the Turing test.2


Originary Technicity Philosophical Concept Turing Test Aristotelian Conception Imitation Game 
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© Timothy Clark 2000

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  • Timothy Clark

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