Facebook M — The Anti-Turing Test
Facebook has recently launched a limited beta of its ground-breaking AI called M. M’s capabilities far exceed those of any competing AI. Where some AIs would be hard-pressed to tell you the weather conditions for more than one location (god forbid you go on a trip), M will tell you the weather forecast for every point on your route at the time you’re expected to get there, and also provide you with convenient gas station suggestions, account for traffic in its estimations, and provide you with options for food and entertainment at your destination.
As many people have pointed out, there have been press releases stating that M is human-aided. However, the point of this article is not to figure out whether or not there are humans behind it, but to indisputably prove it.
When communicating with M, it insists it’s an AI, and that it lives right inside Messenger. However, its non-instantaneous nature and the sheer unlimited complexity of tasks it can handle suggest otherwise. The opinion is split as to whether or not it’s a real AI, and there seems to be no way of proving its nature one way or the other.
The biggest issue with trying to prove whether or not M is an AI is that, contrary to other AIs that pretend to be human, M insists it’s an AI. Thus, what we would be testing for is humans pretending to be an AI, which is much harder to test than the other way round, because it’s much easier for humans to pretend to be an AI than for an AI to pretend to be a human. In this situation, a Turing test is futile, because M’s objective is precisely to not pass a Turing test. So what we want to prove is not the limitations of the AI, but the limitlessness of the (alleged) humans behind it. What we need therefore is a different test. An “Anti-Turing” test, if you will.
As it happens, I did find a way of proving M’s nature. But good storytelling mandates that first, I describe my laborious path to the result, and the inconclusive experiments I had to conduct before I finally got a definitive answer.