Back when I was a PhD student, I discovered philosophy of mind and spent some of my early years wrestling with Turing’s ‘Imitation Game’ and the response of his contemporaries to the question ‘Can machines think?’ This question opens the new movie release inspired by Turing’s work and it seems a good reason to re-publish one of my papers that address the matter of how we devise the appropriate kind of test to answer this question. The paper I published was part of a collection on Philosophy and Chess and my piece 'A Deep Blue Grasshopper: Playing Games with Artificial Intelligence' interrogated the limits of the rationale mind in devising relevant tests for AI. Instead, it proposes games of greater complexity that

Whereas Turing's classic test relies on the human failure to distinguish between a computer and a human when occupying a particular role, the storytelling proposition requires a computer to make sense of second order concepts, such as joke telling. Anyway, I will let the article do the work, find below some of the key texts I have read that speak to the idea of discovering an answer to this question. These readings were my foundation for the subject:


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Bringsjord, S. (1998) Chess is too Easy. Technology Review.

Copeland, J. (1993) Artificial Intelligence: A Philosophical Introduction, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Copeland, B.J. Turing’s O-machines, Searle, Penrose and the brain.

Dennett, D.C. (1991) Consciousness Explained, London: Penguin.

Dyson, G. (1997) Darwin Among the Machines, London: Allen Lane.

Fetzer, J.H. (1990) Artificial Intelligence: Its Scope and Limits, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Harnad, S. (1999) Minds, Machines and Searle. Journal of Theoretical and Experimental Artificial Intelligence, 1, p.pp.5–25.

Hauser, L. (1997) Searle’s Chinese Box: Debunking the Chinese Room Argument. Minds and Machines, 7 (3), p.pp.199–226. Available at:

Hauser, L. (1993) Why Isn’t My Pocket Calculator a Thinking Thing. Minds and Machines, 3 (1), p.pp.3–10. Available at:

Kary, M. & Mahner, M. (2002) How would you know if you synthesized a thinking thing? Minds & Machines, 12 (1), p.pp.61–86.

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Mainzer, K. (1998) Computer Technology and Evolution: From artificial intelligence to artificial life. Techne: Society for Philosophy and Technology, 4 (1).

Millican, P.J.R. & Clark, A. (1996) Machines and Thought: The Legacy of Alan Turing, vol 1.

Moran, F., Moreno, A., Merelo, J.J. & Chacon, P. (1995) Advances in Artificial Life: Third European Conference on Artificial Life, Granada, Spain, June 4-6, 1995 Proceedings. , 929.

Moravec, H. (1988) Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence, London: Harvard University Press.

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Penrose, R. (1995) Shadows of the Mind, London: Vintage.

Penrose, R. (1989) The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerrning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics., London: Vintage.

Piccinini, G. (2000) Turing’s Rules for the Imitation Game. Minds and Machines, 10 (4), p.pp.573–582.

Preston, D. & Taylor, D. (1996) Artificial Intelligence: An Ethical Analysis. In J. M. Kizza, ed. London: McFarland & Company, Inc., pp.267–272

Searle, J. (1980) Minds, Brains, and Programs. Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 3 (3), p.pp.417–458. Available at:

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Turing, A. (1950) Computing Machinery and Intelligence. Mind: A Quarterly Journal of Psychology and Philosophy, LIX (236, October). Available at:

Turing, A.M. (1951) Programmers’ Handbook for the Manchester Electronic Computer. Available at:

Wagman, M. Cognitive Science and the Symbolic Operations of Human and Artificial Intelligence, Westport, Conneticut: Praeger.