Tag Archives: computer

Why are Indians so good at code?

Cheryll Barron offers a historical explanation:

“Indian software aptitude rests on an unlikely pair of factors: an emphasis on learning by rote in Indian schools, and a facility and reverence for abstract thought. These biases of Indian education are all but mutually exclusive in the modern West, where a capacity for abstraction is closely associated with creativity and stimulating, inspirational learning. In India, learning by rote is seen by many, if not most conventional teachers, as essential grounding for creativity – like Picasso’s mastery of perspective and anatomy in his youth – and for unbounded invention and speculation.”

from: “The Indian genius

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A computer passed a Turing test!

Yesterday (which was a public holiday here in Germany) I was so excited when I caught a glimpse of a Guardian article which claimed that a computer had passed a Turing test for the first time. Today (which is no longer a holiday, so I should be reading more serious stuff, but this piece news was too exciting to let pass by unnoticed) I read a better journalistic summary in the Vice magazine of what actually happened. Of course, the Turing test is itself is not stable unobjective because the measure of success is a computer being able to fool a jury of human interrogators.  Turing wrote the following in his 1950 paper (quoted in Vice, you can read Turing’s original paper here):

We now ask the question, “What will happen when a machine takes the part of [the test subject] in this game?” Will the interrogator decide wrongly as often when the game is played like this as he does when the game is played between a man and a woman? These questions replace our original, “Can machines think?”

As Vice author Martin Robbins point out, “the key words here are “reliably” and “often.” Turing didn’t ask whether a machine could ever, on a single occasion, convince a human judge that it too is human; he asked whether a machine could do so reliably. “

So, the jury is still out… still bloody exciting, though!

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