by Jim Britell

50 years ago Alan Turing created a test to determine when computers became as smart as people. He said if we posed the same questions to a computer and a person and could not tell from the answer which was which, then computers would essentially have become as smart as people. Below are questions that an average person could answer but a computer could‘t

  1. A person can deal with rhymes, non-sequitors and a message with conflicting instructions.
    In the following sentence, the correct answer is indicated by the capitol letters. They spell out a word that rhymes with the correct answer. Ignore the literal content of the question and insert the number that sounds just like the word spelled out by the caps.
    Question: What is the Only correct aNswer to the following question
    2 + 2 = __

  2. Inflection can reverse the meaning of a statement. A computer cannot know when this is occurring or that a description of a person would suggest he would make a statement in the form of its reverse for emphasis as occurs with Jewish people from Brooklyn who have been exposed to a lot of Yiddish where reversal by inflection is common.
    Question: When a son asked his Orthodox Jewish father from Brooklyn if he should marry a Catholic girl, his father exclaimed: "Her?!, you should marry?!"
    Did the father want his son to marry the girl? Y__ N__

  3. A computer cannot decide to join in a good-natured conspiracy against itself to defeat the ostensible purpose of the task before it.
    Question: We are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of a dumb computer, so for the following answer put in any day of the month except the correct twentysomethingdate; )
    What day does Christmas fall on?
    Answer: December __

  4. To handle this a computer would have to be able to convert initials to a person, place that person in a historical sequence and choose the answer that a rudimentary grasp of puzzles would suggest as the correct one.
    Question: Which answer below correctly completes the following series, JJFFKK, LLBBJJ?
    Answer (check one): RMMNN_ XXYYZZ_

  5. Two metaphors would have to be sequentially applied: Durante‘s physically distinguishing feature and the story of Pinocchio.
    Question: I am speaking to another person and one of us is lying, who? (Hint, Jimmy Durante 's got nothing on me)
    Answer (check one): Me_   Him_

  6. Computer would have to ignore tricycle, grandmother and peanut butter to grasp that this is a parody of a calendar rhyme.
    Question: What is the following rhyme about? __ A. Family relationships B. Calendar C. Food D. Exercise
    Thirty days has September,
    April, June and no wonder,
    All the rest have peanut butter,
    Except my grandmother who has a little red tricycle.

  7. Requires an ability to apply comparative aesthetic discrimination as Schumann did write a few SQ's but Schubert wrote more and of course is famous for them.
    Question: Who wrote the best String Quartets? __.
    Answer: A. Schubert B. Schumann

  8. This question requires that you have knowledge of historical personages with their identifying physical characteristics, and be able to correctly them merely by their first name and the Initial of their last name (Marilyn), compare two people from different times to each other (MM and MW) in distinction to a third on the basis of physical characteristics with only the clue "bombshell" to indicate the characteristic involved.
    Question: If you were a director and were going to use the new virtual technology to create characters through digitization of their past performances and needed an actress for a particular bombshell part for which Marilyn M. was not available you might go for: ___
    Answer: A. Mae West B. Audrey Hepburn

  9. English has many grammatical oddities such as apparent antonyms ravel-unravel, valuable-invaluable, which are "near synonyms" which could be deliberately used to confuse a computer. Since both boys "unraveled" the sweater, both would have got spanked and probably mom would have administered it.
    Question: Richard and Robert were latchkey kids and one day, being bored, Richard spent a half hour raveling a sweater his mom was knitting, thereafter Robert spent a half hour unraveling the same sweater it, which got a licking? ______
    Answer: Who probably administered it? ____

©2008 Jim Britell
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