Computing Machinery and Intelligence

Alan Turing (1950)

“Computing Machinery and Intelligence” is a seminal paper written by Alan Turing on the topic of artificial intelligence. The paper, published in 1950 in Mind, was the first to introduce his concept of what is now known as the Turing test to the general public.

Turing’s paper considers the question “Can machines think?” Since the words “think” and “machine” cannot be defined in a clear way that satisfies everyone, Turing suggests we “replace the question by another, which is closely related to it and is expressed in relatively unambiguous words.”[1] To do this, he must first find a simple and unambiguous idea to replace the word “think”, second he must explain exactly which “machines” he is considering, and finally, armed with these tools, he formulates a new question, related to the first, that he believes he can answer in the affirmative.