Can Computers Think?

Have you seen The Imitation Game? The 2014 historical drama is loosely based on the biography of Alan Turing (1912 – 1954), who was the first to ask the question, “Can computers think?” Turing was a Cambridge mathematics alumnus and considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. In his seminal paper, Computing Machinery and Intelligence published in 1950, he introduced the Turing test, which involved a computer, a human and an interrogator. To protect their identity, the computer and human communicated with the interrogator in. If the interrogator was unable to tell which of the two players was the human and which was the computer, the computer was said to have passed the Turing test.[1]

Turing speculated that by the year 2000, computers would be able to pass his test. Some bots have come close but not in the way that Turing envisioned. These bots managed to find clever ways to fool the interrogators rather than gaining the cognitive abilities of humans. As it turns out, human conversations are very complex.

Artificial intelligence today

By thinking about the relationship between human and computer intelligence, Turing opened the door for AI to permeate our everyday lives and accelerate innovation. Today’s computers can pilot spacecrafts, aid in delicate surgeries and solve massive equations, however, these are all focused, task-oriented AI activities. AI still isn’t sophisticated enough to truly replace a human. It assists, organizes and automates repeatable tasks, allowing humans more time to focus on tasks that require judgment, interaction and emotion.

DocuSign Insight is a focused AI, designed specifically to improve efficiency, reduce risk and uncover opportunity throughout the contract management lifecycle. The primary goal of enterprise contract analytics is to leverage AI, typically in the form of machine learning , natural language processing  and other related models like Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), to identify and extract critical business and legal terms from corporate contracts. DocuSign Insight combines these technologies so customers can find the precise answers they’re looking for to accelerate their business, and our prebuilt Insight Accelerators drive actionable insights and solve a variety of complex use cases, including GDPR, Brexit, LIBOR and Procurement. 

Every day, we see how AI is empowering customers to do their jobs more efficiently by automating processes and eliminating manual tasks. While we can’t say if/when computers and AI will pass the Turing test, we’re sure that computer intelligence will continue to drive industry evolution and accelerate innovation.

To learn more about the benefits of artificial intelligence, download Contract Analytics: The Key to Unlocking Business Value