[A] curious article popped up this morning regarding a telephone conversation with a computer claiming to be human. Apparently, Time Magazine bureau chief Michael Scherer put this entity to a series of ‘tests’ to prove whether or not the caller was really a human female called ‘Samantha West’:
After asking the telemarketer point blank if she was a real person or a computer-operated robot, she chuckled charmingly and insisted she was real. Looking to press the issue, Scherer asked her a series of questions, which she promptly failed. Such as, “What vegetable is found in tomato soup?” To which she responded by saying she didn’t understand the question. When asked what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained of a bad connection (ah, the oldest trick in the book).
You can listen to two conversations taped during this series of ‘tests’ here. Believe me, it’s worth your time to do so. Why? Because we are standing at the very doors to a future where computers and android entities may be ranked alongside humans as legal persons. Continue reading