Study finds the one word that separates humans from machines and it is hilarious

Greg Evans
Wednesday 10 October 2018 12:15
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Researchers have discovered what one word defines humanity more than any other.

No, it's nothing profound or highly intelligent and, depending on your sense of humour, you'll probably see it has a word that epitomises the human race in 2018.

The word is 'poop'. Yep, that's right. The one word that will define humanity above all else, is a funny word about excrement.

Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A study recently conducted by the Department of Brain and Cognitive Science at MIT, and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, aimed to determine whether artificial intelligence can display the same level of intelligent behaviour as a human being.

The experiment, which is an updated version of the 'minimal Turing test' devised by Alan Turing, saw around 1,000 participants name just one word that they would say to an independent judge that would distinguish them from the machines.

Those that took part had to select the one word they thought would be the most effective and, for many, the best way to do this was to use emotions, something which the computers have no understanding of.

47 per cent of the participants selected a word that they felt could relate to emotions or the thinking process, with 'love' being the most popular, closely followed by 'compassion' and 'human'.

Other words were related to food (pizza, pudding), animals (penguin, kitten), body parts and functions (penis, diarrhoea). The more esoteric words included 'bootylicious', 'onomatopoeia' and Homer Simpsons' favourite 'doh'.

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The next stage of the experiment involved pairing up the most popular words and then asking a new set of 2,405 volunteers if they could identify which words they thought had been submitted by a human and which had been submitted by a machine.

They found that the least convincing was 'robot', which would probably be the most likely thing a machine would say, when you come to think about it. Also found to be thoroughly unconvincing were 'love', 'please' and 'mercy'.

At the other end of the spectrum, 'poop' prevailed, as it was probably the one word that provoked a chuckle from the independent adjudicators, as more taboo words tend to do that humans.

One downside to the experiment was that they only used the most popular words, so more unique words like 'swagger' and 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' didn't get a look in, but may have proved to be successful.

HT IFL Science

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