English philosopher-mathematician Alan Turing created the Turing Test to ask, “Can machines think?” in his paper “Computer Machinery and Intelligence.” Two years later, in a BBC Radio Broadcast, Turing considered a similar problem of whether a jury could ask questions to a computer such the computer would respond to convince them it is really a person.
In “Computer Machinery and Intelligence,” Turing wrote the first version of a Turing Test (paraphrased):
Suppose that three people take part of a game: A man (A), a women (B) and an interrogator (C), who can be of either sex. C is in a different room than A and B. C must identify who of the two is the man and who is the women. C can address questions to A and B, but C only hears the responses through a teleprinter. A must deceive C while B must help the C.
“What will happen when a machine takes the part of A in this game?”
The machine can play this “imitation game” and, though it may be disadvantaged, it can play the game so it’s a fair test. Turing suggested “child machines” be built to grow to learn to communicate in natural language at the level of adult humans.