Alan Turing is best known for being a cryptanalyst during World War II, and he helped lead the efforts of breaking German secret codes. Turing accomplished this by applying mathematics in an electromechanical system, or in other words, a computer. After the war, Turing went on to pioneer computer science principles. One of those principles was a way to test how human-like a computer was. The test, called the Turing Test, tries to address the question if computers can think.
The purpose of the Turing test is to see if an evaluator could intelligently differentiate a computer’s response from a human’s response. The test would be carried out with three compartments; two compartments each have a human, and the last compartment has a computer. Each compartment can not see into the other compartments. The evaluator extends questions to the computer and the other human. Once the questions are asked, the computer and the human give a response to the questions. The evaluator examines the responses, and the evaluator has to determine which response was from the computer.
One way to interpret this test is that it gives the opportunity for the evaluator to determine which response is real or which response is fake. The real response would hopefully show appropriate emotional fluctuations. There are certain natural ways in which humans can talk. The fake response would have to try to imitate emotions. In fact, Alan Turing also called this test the imitation game. So by the computer imitating an emotional response, it would have to be a fake. It is up to the evaluator to determine which reponse is fooling.
The Turing test is still carried out today, and evaluators have a more difficult time than before to figure out if a response is human or computed. Often times an evaluator will incorrectly guess. When the evaluator does incorrectly guess, it raises several questions asking if AI are progressing to exceed the capacity of humans. These tests provide an opportunity to think about the role of AI.
Even though these tests are hypothetical and isolated events, Turing tests possibly gets carried out on a normal occasion, but in a less official fashion. The internet has so many daily users, and those users are reading and interpreting different forms of communication. There are posts, videos, and images that internet users consume on a daily basis. How is regular internet browsing like a Turing test? The user has to figure out if what is being consummed is real or fake.
Regular Turing Tests
The internet is a storm of information where there is a risk of a misinformation tornado spawning. So many tornadoes are ready to suck you up in a problem that is hard to get out of. The problem is simply getting carried away into misinformation. The risk of flying uncontrollably in all the information is very high. So navigating the storm because a necessary skill. One must recognize the danger signs when a misinformation tornado will spawn. A tornado will usually spawn by observing a edit wall cloud or watching for doppler radar patterns of human behavior that would lead to indicate a misinformation tornado.
One can literally find information about anything, even if it is fake. And whatever information that is fake is likely to reference more information to make it seem more real.
The opening paragraph to Is that video real? article highlights the very problem of determining if information is real.
Manipulated videos, audio and images have been around for years, but the rise of artificial intelligence and advanced editing software have made them much, much harder to spot. It’s a dangerous new world, where our very sense of reality can be thrown into doubt.
The manipulation of media has been refined for quite some time. People have had time to implement new processes for making fake stuff. And the rise of computing technology for AI has increased the speed of which fake stuff gets enhanced. Because of all the enhanced media editing and the cesspool of false information, the “sense of reality can be thrown into doubt”.
The aforementioned article demonstrates how programs can alter audio, images, and video into convincing fake media bits. How can one determine what is real? There are keys to determine what is fake; the article mentioned a few steps. Additionally, a little bit of broad research from multiple information sources could draw the similarities. And researching multiple opposing sources to find similarities will help one intellectually by making sure they won’t be lead into a misinformation tornado.
It is truthfully very hard to determine what information is real. But if a user watches for the proverbial edit wall cloud, someone can escape that misinformation tornado before it spawns. Edited and manipulated content will give warning signs. It is up to the user to research for the unmanipulated content, then one can view storm of misinformation from a safe distance.
Filtering through a plethora of information isn’t the only problem. Human behavior may lead a user to see only what they want to see. It is a natural human behavior to seek out information that confirms their own bias and to look for information from a supposed position of authority. Both of these behaviors belong to logical fallacies. They are called confirmation bias and argument from authority. A way to caution against logical fallacies is that a user can look at a doppler raddar of human behavior to look out for a misinformation tornado spawning.
Confirmation bias shows when a person is more likely to use evidence that supports their own claim instead of against their claim. By using only supportive evidence, that would lead additional applicable evidence to be left out. Therefore, the whole picture isn’t present. The way to combat against confirmation bias is to seek ideas that reject the confirmation bias and use the rejection to build more education. More education will be beneficial, because education will help the internet user to recognize when misinformation is being shared.
Argument from a authority makes it seem like any claim from authority must be true. Now if the person of authority is agreed to be reputable, then it could be a valid argument. But then what would make a person reputable? If the person has spent most of their professional lives dedicated to researching and improving hypothesis, then that personal naturally has a higher degree of reputation. But if someone has not invested time into researching all the data and potential varying hypothesis, then that argument doesn’t hold water. The person that researches holistically is the more trustworthy one. And to verify if the source is trustworthy, then one just needs to research.
It is hard to go against what you want to believe and who you want to believe. For example, it could very well seem like the majority of protests in the year 2020 were violent. News media sources are full of articles about violent protests. Because of the publicised violence, people that are against the protest movement could easily claim harsh things against the movement. And there are people of authority claiming that the violence is rampant. It is hard to take, if a person of authority is wrong! In the lack of information, misinformation, and claims from authority, it is easy to believe that 2020 has been a year of violent protests!
But 2020 hasn’t been a year of violent protests. Luckily, it has been researched that 93% of protests were peaceful*. That’s an overwhelming percentage! That would go against the perception that there are nothing but violent protests. If something is conveyed wrongly, like the majority of protests being violent, one needs to stop their opinion from forming and do more research.
It seems like the only way to combat logical fallacies is to do more research and have healthy skepticism of anything that is published. Doubting information in a positive light can provide an access route to gain more information. So recognizing confirmation bias and claims from authority can help one recognize the specific pattern for a misinformation tornado.
A wise internet user needs to be reasonable to determine what information on the internet is part of the truth, fake, or partly true. This is the Turing test that every internet user has to go through. Interpret and discern the imitated information and pick out the clues of fake information. And when claims are made, a wise internet user would research the claim of every viewpoint. A wise user will not stick to one side of the argument. Education is virtually limitless, and internet users just need to be wise stewards of that information.
Manipulated Media Tech Fake News Trend
Confirmation Bias in Social Media
Argument from Authority
93% of protests were peaceful *
Computing Machinery and Intelligence