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German shepherd dog on a computer
Looking at the screen

Engaging with ELIZA

In Step 2.4 we met ELIZA and saw that ELIZA does not in fact have a mind.

The Turing Test looks at ELIZA’s objective behaviour - her responses to questions posed - rather than the subjective thoughts underlying these responses. I suggested that the Turing Test asks the wrong question. Instead of asking whether ELIZA has a mind or not, we should ask whether ELIZA has subjectivity.

Test for yourself whether you think ELIZA has subjectivity. Having interacted with ELIZA, can you see the limitations of Turing’s behaviourist approach to test for a subjective mind?

ELIZA was originally created by Joseph Weizenbaum in 1966. He did not claim ELIZA has a mind or that it passes the Turing Test, nevertheless it has become a widely used example to illustrate these issues.

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This article is from the free online course:

What Is a Mind?

University of Cape Town