Last night at fencing practice, we got to talking about Blade Runner (Director’s Cut) and about certain choices that were made on the original theatrical release versus the Director’s Cut. This led to a recommendation to read (and compare it) against the original short novel on which it was based Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (By Philip K. Dick).
During the course of the conversation, the topic of the Turing test came up, and several people didn’t know what it was, most notably Lissa. I gave her some homework to read up on it, but figured I would make it a bit easier for her and put it here.
More specifically (although I couldn’t remember the name at the time), I told her about the Loebner Prize – the competition to determine the most humanlike Chatterbot. I haven’t checked in on the last few years winners, but I did know that some implementations of them were online to ‘talk’ to, and I encouraged her to check them out (specifically Jabberwacky [Chat With – Wikipedia]).
So where does this leave us? With Microsoft’s sex-obsessed RoboSanta spouting filth at children. Let’s hear it for those whacky programmer elves.
Oh, and in regards to my ‘unicorn’ comments regarding Blade Runner, let me give you this small quote from the Wikipedia article. Consider this a spoiler, if you will, but for a film marking its 25th anniversary, you should have seen it by now.
The question of whether Deckard is intended to be a human or a replicant has been an ongoing controversy since the film’s release. Ridley Scott, after remaining coy for twenty years, stated in 2000 that Deckard is a replicant, and has reinserted a unicorn sequence into the Director’s Cut indicating Deckard has false memories like Rachael. Both Hampton Fancher and Harrison Ford have stated that Deckard is human. The rough consensus of the debate is that in the original theatrical release of the film Deckard is probably human, whereas the Director’s Cut hints that he may be a replicant.