As the University crumbles around our ears, let us not forget the true meaning of computer science. Turing Test Revisited Diane : Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the 43rd annual Turing Test. I'm your host and moderator, Diane Sawyer. This year, representing com puters is the MIT ZFX 6.0 computer, representing the human race is graduate student Ben Hurwitz, and the control subject is space alien Beldar Conehead. Our celebrity panelists, whose judgement of computer/human/alien determine a $1 million prize, are Johnny Bench, baseball hall-of-famer, Dr. Joyce Brothers, the psychologist and author, and George Plimpton, renowned pundit and cameo role actor. ZFX : Hello. Ben : Hello. Beldar : Hello. Johnny : Hello. Joyce : Hello. George : Hello. Johnny : Can I leave yet? Diane : No, Johnny, you can't. But you can ask the first question. Johnny : Um, ok... bachelorette #1, if I was a stick of gum, what flavor would I be? Diane : Excuse me, Johnny, but you're reading the wrong cards. Johnny : Oh, right. Sorry. Here's another one. What's your favorite drink? Ben : Schlitz. ZFX : WD-40 grade motor oil. Ha, ha! I am joking! Actually my preferred beverage is Dom Perignon, as is imbibed by the cognoscenti of the MIT campus. Since I have told this very funny joke, you will think that I am not the computer after all. Diane : Beldar? Beldar : Excuse me, Diane. I was inflamed by the possibilities inherent in the simultaneous consumption of Schlitz beer and motor oils. Joyce : What are you most proud of? ZFX : The fine, upstanding, and supremely intelligent humans at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Please note, you cannot conclude using deductive logic that my statement implies I myself have any bond with that venerable institution, such as having been designed and constructed there. Beldar : I can consume an entire box of hydrox cookies in 24 seconds. Ben : Oh, yeah? Well I've been tying cherry stems into knots with my tongue *years* before Twin Peaks went on the air. Diane : Ben, may I see you for a moment immediately after the show? George : I have a question. What is your opinion of Isaac Asimov's laws of robot conduct? ZFX : Since Asimov has never been published by the MIT press, I have not wasted my cycles in perusing his gibberish. Ben : Asimov? Man, have you seen his haircut? It's worse than Alan Newell's. Beldar : I am in concurrence with Benjamin on this point. Johnny : So what do you all do for exercise? Ben : I lift weights. Stop laughing, Johnny, or I'll remind the audience how bad you looked playing third base at the end of your career. Beldar : I am an avid participant in head-wrestling, head-fencing, and ring toss. ZFX : I need no exercise. However, there are some maintenance activities I require that the MIT alumni unknowingly finance, since the research grant has run out. Whoops. Please delete last remark. Joyce : How about this. You're on a date. Things aren't going so well. What do you do to salvage the evening? Ben : I drop her off at the nearest bus stop and head for the Pub. Beldar : I make a point of informing my date at great length how attractive her cone is. ZFX : The question is ambiguous. By "date", do you mean the fruit? Diane : So, finally, panelists, what is your judgement, who is the computer? George : Well, Beldar does have a mechanical side to him, but I'm going to say ZFX. Joyce : All three seem to be lacking in emotional stability. As the least organic, I'm going to conclude ZFX is the computer. I'd have to have him come in for an appointment to be sure. Johnny : Well, heck, I'd say the thing with the wires sticking out of it is the computer, while the guy with the beard is the human, and the fella with the big cone coming out of his head has to be an alien. Diane : Thank you for joining us. Good night.