Over at the Huffington Post, I was just reading a hilarious account of an interview Sarah Palin had with Dr. James Dobson (of all people).  Dobson shouldn't be a tough crowd, but...

...here he was asking her about the woman-as-vessel planks in the Republican platform, and all she could manage was a riff using the keywords of Dobson's questions, irrelevantly throwing in "entrepreneurial spirit" at one point.  

Dobson asked:

The Republican Platform is the strongest pro-life, pro-family document to come out of a political party, even more so than the platforms during the campaigns of Ronald Reagan. There are principles there that I've been fighting for for thirty, forty years and you are trying to articulate those same principles, aren't you?

Palin responded:

Absolutely, and Dr. Dobson thank you so much for recognizing that. This is a strong platform around the planks in this platform that respect life and respect the entrepreneurial spirit of this great country and those things, back to the social issues that are what Republicans, at least in the past, had articulated and tried to stand on.

I'm a computer programmer and I found myself thinking about the poor algorithm Palin's human-interaction script executes.  She's a human being but she wouldn't even pass a Turing Test.

The Turing Test, for those who don't know, is a test where a human or a computer communicates with a human through an electronic link.  If the human cannot tell whether or not he is communicating with a computer, the computer has "passed."  It's a crucial milestone in Artificial Intelligence and has only been achieved in narrow fields of discourse.  The key assumption underlying  the Turing Test is that humans have a basic level of conversational competency to which computers can only aspire.  But if we were all like Sarah Palin, such a test might never have occurred to Mr. Turing.

Originally posted to bigfun on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 11:05 AM PDT.

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