Chatbot Passes 'Turing Test' by Pretending as 13-Year-Old Boy (Representational Image) [Wikimedia Commons/Tom Yates]
Chatbot Passes 'Turing Test' by Pretending as 13-Year-Old Boy (Representational Image) [Wikimedia Commons/Tom Yates]Wikimedia Commons/Tom Yates

A chatbot named Eugene Goostman became the first computer program to pass the iconic Turing Test, fooling humans by making them think it's a 13-year-old boy.

Turing Test was devised during 1950s by Alan Turing, a computer science pioneer considered the father of modern computers, who raised the question "can machines think?"

And the Turing Test 2014, conducted by University of Reading's School of Systems Engineering at the Royal Society in Central London, Eugene Goostman answered Turing's question positively for the first time - "Yes, machines can think!"

Till now, no program had passed the Turing Test, which needs 30 percent of humans to be fooled during a series of test-based conversation, according to the organizers from the University of Reading.

But Eugene Goostman, which was developed to behave like a 13-year-old boy, successfully managed to convince 33 percent of the investigators that it was human.

"In the field of Artificial Intelligence there is no more iconic and controversial milestone than the Turing Test, when a computer convinces a sufficient number of interrogators into believing that it is not a machine but rather is a human," said Kevin Warwick, a Visiting Professor at the University of Reading, according to a news release.

One of the problems which a machine with artificial intelligence can curb is cybercrimes, opined Warcwick.

"Of course the Test has implications for society today. Having a computer that can trick a human into thinking that someone, or even something, is a person we trust is a wake-up call to cybercrime. The Turing Test is a vital tool for combatting that threat. It is important to understand more fully how online, real-time communication of this type can influence an individual human in such a way that they are fooled into believing something is true... when in fact it is not," he added.

Researchers believe the event will go down in history as one of the most exciting milestones.

Eugene Goostman was developed by Russian-born Vladimir Veselov, a United States resident, and Ukrainian Eugene Demchenko, residing in Russia. The program was initiated in 2001 and its developers are now planning to build the program smarter and more realistic.

Veselov feels it's a remarkable achievement for the developers who hope to boost interest in artificial intelligence and chatbots.

Eugene Goostman was one of the five machines which participated at the Turing Test 2014 Prize. The event took place on the 60th death anniversary of Mr. Turing, who with his pioneering knowledge laid the basis of modern computing.

In 1952, Turing was chemically castrated because of an affair with a 19-year-old man. Two years later, Turing died from apparent suicide, though some claims that his death was an accident, according to Mirror Online.