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Introduction to Social Solipsism (off topic?)
Language and Intelligence
  Printable version
In his article "Computing Machinery and Intelligence," Alan Turing intertwined disparate threads of scientific thought - computing, mathematics, neurology, linguistics - into a single cord, concluding that machines could exhibit intelligent behavior, as long as the definition of intelligence was based on the use of language. The essence of the Turing test is that intelligence is measured through conversation - through the social use of language.

Granted, there are other forms of human behavior that could be used to evaluate intelligence. None, however, is as important as language. (In his 1957 book Verbal Behavior, B.F. Skinner maintained that the use of language can be construed as mere behavior.) The use of language is sufficient for the evaluation of intelligence.
 
This kind of evaluation occurs in Internet chat, where strong relationships are built through text alone. The intelligence and emotional qualities of the other individual are inferred by what they type and the speed of their responses. The measure of one chat partnerís intelligence is entirely in the hands of the other chat partner. Voice, appearance, and other factors take second-place to ability with language. Clearly, we don't need to see, touch, or hear a person in order to attribute intelligence to her.
 
To be fully human is to be able to talk, think, feel, touch, and sense. But as chat shows us, the information gained through the use of language is enough to enable people to decide whether they are intellectually and emotionally compatible. If a machine can generate language which accurately simulates the way people use language, offering creative replies and taking appropriate initiative to keep the conversation moving, it seems as fair to call that machine "intelligent" as it is to call a lucid, thoughtful chat-room or discussion participant "intelligent."