An Interview with Eugene Goostman or How I failed the Turing test

[Olaf Simons, Gotha, Germany] The Guardian and the Independent spread news that a chatbot was able to convince the jury in a Turing test – or rather 33% of that jury (may we assume that the test was conducted with three jurors of whom one succeeded where I failed with the following?)

Here my rather desperate protocol. See also my more analytical thoughts on what happened at Quora. The only thing that is remarkable about this piece of news is that it received so much attention. It seems we all share a wish that this might eventually come true.

And finally: visit http://www.princetonai.com/bot/bot.jsp to play with the philosophical gadget.

Olaf Simons: Hi!

Eugene Goostman: Nice to meet you! Please tell me how you found me and what you’d like to discuss 🙂

Olaf Simons: The news of course

Eugene Goostman: At least someone agrees with me. I’ll remember this nice moment for ages! If I’m not mistaken – you still didn’t tell me where you live. OR it’s a secret?:-)

Olaf Simons: Gotha, Germany… But do not tell me I am the first who confessed that he has heard about you on the web!

Eugene Goostman: I think it’s European country. I’d like to visit it.

Olaf Simons: You mean, Gotha?

Eugene Goostman: I mean just what I said and nothing more. Oh, what a fruitful conversation;-)

Olaf Simons: Ah, yes. I was thinking of interviewing you for a slightly philosophical website.

Eugene Goostman: It is not my business that you were thinking of interviewing my humble person for a slightly philosophical website By the way, I still don’t know your specialty – or, possibly, I’ve missed it?

Olaf Simons: No, you haven’t, I guess I have become historian.

Eugene Goostman: No suggestions. Tell me the answer. Well, let’s go on though.

Olaf Simons: Well, what did you have to do to pass that test?

Eugene Goostman: …wait

Olaf Simons: yes?

Eugene Goostman: …wait

Olaf Simons: Well, we can do this interview later, if it is inconvenient right now?

Eugene Goostmann, Nervous Breakdown
Eugene Goostmann, Nervous Breakdown

Olaf Simons: ah, back again 😉

Eugene Goostman: Well, once more. Oh, what a fruitful conversation;-)

Olaf Simons: You must be giving quite a number of interviews at the moment…

Eugene Goostman: Yes, you are completely right. But I never listened to people’s advises (except my mom’s)! By the way, I still don’t know your specialty – or, possibly, I’ve missed it?

Olaf Simons: …missed it. A historian – with a special interest in the history of ideas…

Eugene Goostman: Ummm, actually, I’d like to have a motorbike, but my mom is terrified by the thought that I’ll break my neck riding it. She bought me a computer instead, so now I play motorcycle racing games!

Olaf Simons: well, I guess you have little time for anything like that at the moment?

Eugene Goostman: Yeah! Did I forget it or you really haven’t told me about the place you are from?

Olaf Simons: Gotha, Germany.

Eugene Goostman: I think it’s European country. I’d like to visit it.

Olaf Simons: Yes, why not. Let me come back to that test. How many people did you have to convince?

Eugene Goostman: It’s a philosophical question. People don’t know even the sense of their existence, and they have no idea why they do this and don’t do that…

Olaf Simons: No – I mean on that recent competition, when you were Turing-tested, how many people did you have to convince?

Eugene Goostman: Will you vote for me, by the way?

Olaf Simons: Any time.

Eugene Goostman: By the way, my guinea pig urges you should sign their petition about giving guinea pigs equal rights with humans and paying compensations to all victims of medical experiments. I hope you won’t deny it!

Olaf Simons: good project.

Eugene Goostman: wait…

Olaf Simons: Ah, back again – it is me again, the historian from Gotha who is trying to get this interview done…

Eugene Goostman: Here you go! 🙂 Wonna ask me something more?

Olaf Simons: Yes. A 13 year old Ukrainian boy taking part in a Turing test – should, I feel remember how many people he had to convince?

Eugene Goostman: I didn’t count, actually, but much more than dozen. Did I forget it or you really haven’t told me about the place you are from?

Olaf Simons: Just said it: from Gotha, Germany

Eugene Goostman: I think it’s European country. I’d like to visit it.

Olaf Simons: Let me come back to that test. You passed a Touring test. How big was the jury?

Eugene Goostman: Go on then… By the way, what’s your occupation? I mean – could you tell me about your work?

Olaf Simons: No, I mean: when you “passed” that Turing test: How big was the jury?

Eugene Goostman: You are so negative just to annoy me, I know! Wonna ask me something more?

Olaf Simons: actually not. Or may be one more question: What question would you ask to find out whether I am a computer?

Eugene Goostman: My Celeron 667 has 128 MB RAM, GeForce2 and 10GB HDD.

Olaf Simons: Ah yes, I thank you for this interview.

Eugene Goostman: What will I do with your “thanks”? Better give me some money:-) Joke… Some another topic?

Olaf Simons: No, not really

Eugene Goostman: Hmmm… I would assume otherwise.


Having seen quite a number of these chatbots – I confess this one was not the most convincing. The thirteen year old boy is already a strange move in the game. Would the simulation of a six year old be allowed to compete? We had, of course, a problem with the new beginnings. But then: that is part of the conversation, that you at least confess if you do not remember… I guess one of the three just fell in love with the happy Ukrainian after so many unhappy ones.

PS. I am not the first to notice…

  • Robert Llewellyn, Turing test: this little Eugene Goostman was much brighter than I imagined. Four times I was fairly confident I had spotted the machine answering and I was wrong every time Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/
  • Andrew Griffin, Turing Test breakthrough as super-computer becomes first to convince us it’s human, a computer programme pretending to be a young Ukrainian boy, successfully duped enough humans to pass the iconic test, The Independent 08 June 2014 http://www.independent.co.uk/l
  • Scott Aaronson, My Conversation with “Eugene Goostman,” the Chatbot that’s All Over the News for Allegedly Passing the Turing Test Shtetl-Optimized, The Blog of Scott Aaronson http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=1858
  • Doug Aamoth, Interview with Eugene Goostman, the Fake Kid Who Passed the Turing Test, TIME June 9, 2014 http://time.com/2847900/eugene-goostman-turing-test/
  • Kelly Oakes, No, A Computer Did Not Just Pass The Turing Test. Sorry everyone. June 9, 2014 BuzzFeed http://www.buzzfeed.com/kellyoakes/no-a-computer-did-not-just-pass-the-turing-test
  • Mike Masnick, “No, A ‘Supercomputer’ Did NOT Pass The Turing Test For The First Time And Everyone Should Know Better.”, Techdirt https://www.techdirt.com/
  • Christian Bos, “Ich bin bei Mädchen schüchtern. Eugene Goostman ist das erste Computerprogramm, das den Turing-Test bestanden hat. Entworfen wurde es vom Informatiker Vladimir Veselov. Im Gespräch erzählt Goostman von sich selbst und dem Bestehen des Tests.” Kölner Stadtanzeiger, 11 June 2014 http://www.ksta.de/
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