When I initially pondered on the main premise of Turing's test -- that artificial intelligence could be based on the underlying principle of imitation -- I was rather skeptical, but the more I read into the matter, the more I realized how pervasive imitation is in regards to knowledge acquisition. Whether it is a child learning from a parent, a teacher mentoring a teacher, or a casual bystander conforming to a given situation, a majority of what we know is influenced by some form of imitation. One of the very few intellectual examples that I could aggregate that does not involve imitation would involve unprecedented creativity (e.g., music, art, poetry, and film). However, for something to be so original and imaginative, pristine from any form of imitation, it would be extremely rare -- so atypical that it would not be as useful a construct in defining intelligence as imitation. Would you agree?
Two scholarly references should be included in addition to [Friedenberg, J., & Silverman, G. (2006). Cognitive science: An introduction to the study of mind. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Write in 3rd person scholarly writing. No quotes please.]
The material is plentiful, but I focus on two or three approaches.
Learning as Imitation: Exceptions
If we look for alternatives to what seems to be the ubiquity of imitation, there are several options. Since imitation is just a form of empiricism, the concept of innate ideas would be non-imitative and intrinsic to the person.
Recently, the Blue Brain Project discovered what they think are neurons that are not activated or affected by experience. Small clusters of pyramidal neurons come together to form what are the conditions of knowledge. The research team theorized that these neuronic clusters provide such basic schemata as causality, space, time and other aspects of the spatial world. Our sensations of objects are similar only because our mind is predisposed to grasp it that way. At the same time, memories, rather than direct experience or analysis, remain subjective and idiosyncratic.
If this is true, then it would suggest that, while imitation may still be operative, it would mean nothing if there were not innate structures in the mind to make sense out of what is experienced and imitated. This might also suggest that certain actions or sounds might be imitated, while others are ignored.
Radical creativity is as close to creating out of nothing that a human being can achieve. It might not be entirely separate from experience, but far enough away to be unprecedented. What writers like Carl ...
The turning test limitations are provided in the solution.