London, Oct 13 : Six computers have been unable to pass a major artificial intelligence test that involved holding a conservation with a person, thus indicating that computers are still not quite clever enough o fool humans.
According to a report in the Telegraph, the test, known as the Turing test, tested six machines to see if they could pass themselves off as humans in text-based conversations with people.
Although two machines came close to imitating a real-time "chat", the Turing Test has not been passed.
The Turing test, developed by British mathematician Alan Turing in 1950, is a proposal for a test of a machine's ability to demonstrate intelligence.
The latest experiment involved six Artificial Conversational Entities (ACEs), who tried to fool human interrogators into thinking they were also human.
The test is performed by conducting a text-based conversation on any subject. Each interrogator has two screens and talks with a human and a machine at the same time.
If they cannot tell the difference, the test is passed and ACE can be said to be "thinking".
All the ACEs managed to fool at least one of their human interrogators and organisers feel it will only be a matter of time before the test is passed.
But, none could pass the threshold set by Turing in 1950 of fooling 30 per cent of the human interrogators.
The winning machine, known as Elbot, could only achieve a 25 per cent success rate.
According to Professor Kevin Warwick from the University of Reading's School of Systems Engineering, who organised the test, "This has been a very exciting day with two of the machines getting very close to passing the Turing Test for the first time."
"In hosting the competition here, we wanted to raise the bar in Artificial Intelligence and although the machines aren't yet good enough to fool all of the people all of the time, they are certainly at the stage of fooling some of the people some of the time," he added.
"Today's results actually show a more complex story than a straight pass or fail by one machine. Where the machines were identified correctly by the human interrogators as machines, the conversational abilities of each machine was scored at 80 and 90 percent," he further added.
"This demonstrates how close machines are getting to reaching the milestone of communicating with us in a way in which we are comfortable," said Warwick.
"That eventual day will herald a new phase in our relationship with machines, bringing closer the time in which robots start to play an active role in our daily lives," he added.