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Turing Test

Alan Turing is considered by many to be one of the grandfathers of the modern computer. Generally, he is known for being the leader of the group that cracked the German enigma code during the Second World War – the basis of the popular movie The Imitation Game.

Although computers, or more accurately computing machines, were quite primitive during his lifetime, Dr. Turing had the foresight to see what computing machines might become. He devised a thought experiment known as the Turing Test. The Turing Test is quite simple. Consider that you are an observer standing in front of two curtains. Behind one curtain is a human, and behind the other curtain is a computer. The Turing Test is to ascertain whether you as an observer can determine behind which curtain is the computer, and which curtain hides the human. You can interact with each of the curtains through a series of questions.

AI and the Turing Test

With the onset of generative AI, the Turing Test is more than an interesting thought experiment. It is a daily experience that is occurring without most of us really knowing it. For instance, was this blog written by a human or a bot? (It was completely written by a human.) Was that picture on social media of a celebrity real or a deep fake? Was that latest pop song that you can’t stop humming composed and performed by a human or a bot? You get the idea.

So, the question becomes, would your small business pass a Turing Test? Would an impartial observer know that it was a human running and operating your business as opposed to a bot? Think about it. We all fear being replaced, and being replaced by a bot may (or may not) be the ultimate humiliation.

The reality is that most, if not all your small business activities could be done by a series of bots. That is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it is a huge competitive advantage if you can design and implement ideas that ensure that your suppliers and customers fully appreciate and value the human elements of your business. Future blogs will explore this idea further.

Interesting in finding out more?

On September 12, Rick Nason and Dan Nordqvist are presenting at The ONE National Conference. If you’re a CPA or business leader in my network, come check it out! we will be speaking about AI, Complexity and an Accounting Career.

If you can’t make it to Halifax, you can also tune in online! Register now:


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