Peter Cooper Jr. on Wed, 20 Jun 2007 07:56:44 -0700 (MST)

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Re: [s-d] New Player - Primo

Roger Hicks wrote:
>>From outward appearance of course it is easy to distinguish the
>> difference
> between a human and a corporation. If you had a computer and a person
> sitting in front of you, unless you were blind, you probably wouldn't have
> a
> problem telling them apart. However, that is not the definition of a
> Turning
> Test. A Turning Test provides a controlled environment and requires the
> observer to distinguish human from non-human by observing the changes to
> that environment. Primo Corporation, due to the fact that it is owned by
> human shareholders and operated by human officers, would have no problem
> whatsoever in mimicking a human in such a controlled environment.
> Another point that was discussed at length in the Agoran forums prior to
> taking on B as a protectorate was that the B Nomic rules only state that
> an
> entity must be "capable" of passing a turning test. Given a large enough
> sampling, it stands to reason that almost any entity could pass a
> reasonably
> suited Turing Test by accident.

Some very interesting arguments there. Really the root of the problem here
is that "capable of passing a Turing Test" is very ambigious. For
instance, I could see it being read as "There exists a Turing Test such
that the entity is capable of passing it." as well as "For every given
Turing Test one might devise, the entity is capable of passing it." Plus,
there's no real definition of what counts as a Turing Test in our rules,
and there's no requirement that any Turing Test actually be used at any

Truely, there is room for improvement here in our rules. I've never really
liked the current wording, but I couldn't ever come up with a better one.
I *think* (and maybe people who've been with the game longer than I can
help here) that the idea is that we want our players to be individual
human entities, but (a) there's no way for us to *know* with certainty
who's behind a particular public forum post, and so one of our players
could be a very sophisicated android and we'd never know it, and (b) if
there existed a Martian with an Internet connection that wrote and read
English via email, I think we'd be okay with em as a player.

The "capable of passing a Turing Test" requirement has been a part of our
ruleset for so long though, that it would surprise me if something like
this hasn't been tried before. (Possibly even by me.) If so, there was
assuredly some kind of judgement request made and resolved that dealt with
the issue, which should give us some game precedent. I don't really have
the time right now, but searching the spoon-business and -discuss archives
may help enlighten us.

Peter C.
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