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I read this paper Text Compression as a Test for Artificial Intelligence, Mahoney, 1999.

So far I understood the following: Text Compression tests can be used as an alternative to Turing Tests for intelligence. The Bits per character score obtained from compression of a standard benchmark corpus, can be used as a quantitative measure for intelligence

My questions:

  1. Is my understanding of the topic correct?
  2. Does this mean that applications like 7zip/WinRar are intelligent?
  3. How are the ways a human compresses information (as in form of summary) and ways a computer compresses (using Huffman coding or something) are compatible? How can we compare that?
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  • $\begingroup$ Hi @Aether, it's unlikely you'll get an answer about the whole paper. Try providing a specific excerpt from the paper which you don't understand. $\endgroup$
    – mark mark
    Mar 22 at 14:11
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    $\begingroup$ @markmark I have done some changes to the question to make it more specific. Please check. $\endgroup$
    – Aether
    Mar 22 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ Apparently, you're quoting "Text Compression tests can be used as an alternative to Turing Tests for intelligence. The Bits per character score obtained from compression of a standard benchmark corpus, can be used as a quantitative measure for intelligence" from the paper, but I don't find that in the paper. $\endgroup$
    – nbro
    Mar 23 at 9:25
  • $\begingroup$ @nbro that’s not literally in the paper, it’s what I have understood from the paper. $\endgroup$
    – Aether
    Mar 23 at 9:26
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The paper suggests an alternative test to the famous Turing test, which tests a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.

In this test, if winRar or 7zip will compress a file similarly to how a human would compress a file (how does a human compress a file?!), then, yes, those programs will pass the test and will be considered intelligent.

... thus compression ratio on a standard benchmark corpus could be used as an objective and quantitative alternative test for AI (Mahoney, 1999).

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  • $\begingroup$ How does the paper think that the way a human compresses some information (in form of summary or something) and the way a computer program does (through Huffman coding or frequency tables) are compatible? $\endgroup$
    – Aether
    Mar 22 at 14:22
  • $\begingroup$ I have no idea. I think that your question is valid and the paper does not answer it. $\endgroup$
    – Cohensius
    Mar 24 at 14:24

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