Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Dingo Ate the Baby

Dear Friends,

The Hard Taco song for August is called, "Turing Test."

The Turing test is an interview designed to distinguish a person from a computer. The reason robots can't pass for humans (and steal our jobs) is that even the best AI engine lacks something that most people have... common sense. For instance, read the following:

"The dingo ate the baby because it looked plump and delicious."

In this case, "it" could logically refer to the dingo or the baby, but a person would immediately recognize that it would be silly to mention that the dingo looked plump and delicious. To a computer, both possibilities are equally valid.

Of course, with a single binary question, a computer will guess correctly half the time, so I have written a comprehensive common sense questionnaire to challenge the AI community. I'm looking at you, Google. If you can develop a robot that can answer all 13 these questions as well as a six-year-old kid, I will concede that the robot deserves to replace us in the workplace and the wedding bed.

"The Dingo Ate the Baby: A Test for People:

The park rangers refused to let the Campbell family into the picnic area until they bought a day pass.
Q: Who had to buy a day pass, the park rangers or the Campbell family? 

Amy Campbell asked to speak to the ranger's manager, but she wasn't successful.
Q: Who wasn't successful, Amy or the manager?

After grudgingly agreeing to pay, Amy put the baby in the sandbox, and went back to the car to get its pacifier.
Q: Did the pacifier belong to the baby or the sandbox?

Meanwhile, a bloodthirsty dingo crouched behind the seesaw and watched the baby playing in the sandbox. It grew ravenously hungry.
Q: What grew hungry, the dingo, the seesaw, or the baby?

When Amy returned from the car, the baby was not in the sandbox. She looked all over the playground, but it was gone.
Q: What was gone, the baby, the sandbox, or the playground?

She tried to staple a "Missing Baby" poster to every tree in the park, but there were too many of them.
Q: Were there too many posters or too many trees?

For years, Amy had heard stories about a bloodthirsty dingo who lived in the woods but had never taken them seriously.
Q: What did she never take seriously, the stories or the woods?

The next day, she bought a hatchet from the sporting goods store, and promised her mother that she wouldn't rest until she killed that dingo with it.
Q: Who wouldn't rest, Amy or her mother?
Q: Who would kill the dingo, Amy or her mother?
Q: Would the dingo be killed with the hatchet or the sporting goods store?

When the deed was done, Amy went home, wiped the blood off the hatchet with a wet cloth, and threw it into the washing machine.
Q: What did Amy throw in the washing machine, the hatchet, the blood, or the wet cloth?

She mounted the dingo's head on her living room wall, but it didn't make her feel any better.
Q: What didn't make her feel better, the dingo's head or the wall?

Amy tried to explain how she felt to her friend Andrea, but she didn't understand it. 
Q: Who didn't understand, Amy or Andrea?

Good luck, robots! My employer and wife are both rooting for you!

With warmest regards,