Spring 2009»CSCI 470 Homework 1

CSCI 470 Homework 1

Assigned Date: Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009
Due Date: Thursday, Jan. 29
Due Time: 1:40pm

Last modified on April 07, 2009, at 11:37 AM (see updates)


This assignment focuses on:

  • fundamental knowledge on AI, including its definition(s), history, and main philosophical issues.

This is a solo assignment (i.e., you must do it alone). You may discuss the assignment only with the instructor.


Read Turing's original paper on AI (Turing 1950).

In the paper, Turing discusses several potential objections to his proposed enterprise and his test of intelligence.


  1. Which objections are still relevant?
  2. Can you think of new objections arising from developments since this paper was written?
  3. In the paper, Turing predicts that by the year 2000 a computer will have a 30% chance of passing his test of intelligence with an unskilled interviewer. What chance do you think a computer would have today? What about in another 50 years? (Provide thorough references, in the form of URLs and excerpts.)
  4. In the original paper, Turing includes a third participant (a woman) in his test setup. Although this is traditionally dismissed by mainstream AI researchers as simply an unnecessary curiosity, Turing may have had an important idea here, which is usually missed because he did not justify it well. What does Turing's man vs. woman layer might add to the test? Explain.
  5. Highlight (write) an interesting, thought-provoking excerpt from the paper. Why is this important? What questions, thoughts, ideas come to mind? (Pick the most profound passage(s) in the paper, in your opinion.)

(Adapted from Russell and Norvig, "AI - A Modern Approach", ex. 1.2, p. 30.)


A. M. Turing (1950), "Computing Machinery and Intelligence", Mind, New Series, Vol. 59, No. 236. (Oct., 1950), pp. 433-460.


  1. Create a PDF document (approx. 2 pages max) with answers to the above questions.
  2. Include your name, date, and class.
  3. Submit your assignment on WebCT by the due date (instructions will be provided in class).


Your grade will be based on how well you followed the above instructions, and the depth/quality of your work.

Relevant Quote

"Any amount of work can be done in any amount of time... only the quality varies." ~Joao Meidanis