I have seen a couple of Turing's papers, but never have found one called "The Imitation Game". The Imitation Game seems to be a name used by Turing to refer to his test to decide whether an intelligent entity of some sorts is machine or man (a.k.a., the Turing's test). But I haven't found any published paper with that name. So, did Turing ever publish a paper called The Imitation Game?

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    Though this is an interesting question, I wonder what it has to do with skeptical inquiry. Wouldn't this be better suited to any of the math, history, computer science or movie stack exchanges? Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 22:56
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    @EricLippert I am skeptical about an event depicted in a movie that is based on a true story. I am questioning a claim made in a movie. That's on topic here.
    – a06e
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 23:12
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    @EricLippert If it were not on-topic here, I would suggest that it is a better fit on History of Science & Mathematics than those that you've listed.
    – apnorton
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 3:18
  • Was this claimed in the movie? I don't remember that.
    – endolith
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 16:13
  • @endolith Yes it was. The detective asks Turing what was the name of the paper, and Turing says "The Imitation Game".
    – a06e
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


No but also yes. In the 1950 edition of "Mind", Turing published "Computing Machinery and Intelligence" (doi: 10.1093/mind/LIX.236.433, JSTOR, text, PDF) on the subject of artificial intelligence. Wikipedia has a good overview of the article and its implications; however, if you refer to the article itself you will note that the first section is titled "The Imitation Game",

1. The Imitation Game

I propose to consider the question, "Can machines think?" This should begin with definitions of the meaning of the terms "machine" and "think." The definitions might be framed so as to reflect so far as possible the normal use of the words, but this attitude is dangerous, If the meaning of the words "machine" and "think" are to be found by examining how they are commonly used it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the meaning and the answer to the question, "Can machines think?" is to be sought in a statistical survey such as a Gallup poll. But this is absurd. Instead of attempting such a definition I shall replace the question by another, which is closely related to it and is expressed in relatively unambiguous words.

So while it was not the title of the paper, it was used as a section title in the paper.

  • This article appears to have been reprinted as "Can a Machine Think?" on pages 2099-2123 of Volume Four of The World of Mathematics, which was edited by James R. Newman, and published in 1956 by Simon and Schuster. The reprint includes a bibliography.
    – Jasper
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 2:07
  • Now you made me curious and I had to read the rest of the paper. :P
    – fgysin
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 12:33

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