Alison Gopnik at Edge:
Everyone knows that Turing talked about the imitation game as a way of trying to figure out whether a system is intelligent or not, but what people often don’t appreciate is that in the very same paper, about three paragraphs after the part that everybody quotes, he said, wait a minute, maybe this is the completely wrong track. In fact, what he said was, “Instead of trying to produce a program to simulate the adult mind, why not rather try to produce one which simulates the child?” Then he gives a bunch of examples of how that could be done.
For several years I’ve been pointing to that quote because everybody stops reading after the first section. I was searching at lunch to make sure that I got the quote right, and I discovered that when you Google this, you now come up with a whole bunch of examples of people saying that this is the thing you should be quoting from Turing. There’s a reason for that, which is that the explosion of machine learning as a basis for the new AI has made people appreciate the fact that if you’re interested in systems that are going to learn about the external world, the system that we know of that does that better than anything else is a human child.