CS Majors Must Pass Turing Test

Thatcher Montgomery, CS Translator

Graduating students from the School of Computer Science have had a new requirement this year: passing the Turing test.

“Our students have always been the best and the brightest, able to crack any code and program their way through any puzzle,” said Andrew Moore, dean of SCS. “However, they often have trouble communicating with the peons—er, excuse me, I mean people, the people who aren’t intimately familiar with programming.”

In an attempt to make their students more sociable, SCS has added the Turing test to the list of graduation requirements. Originally used to see if machines could successfully mimic human behavior for a certain period of time, the exam is now being used to see if CS students can function in a world outside of CMU.

“Our preliminary results were frustrating, because our students kept transitioning from standard English to pseudo-code almost immediately after greeting their partner,” Moore explained. “With the help of some coaches, however, we were able to train them to recognize which topics were acceptable—for example, the weather—and which were not—like 251 homework.”

Some students see this as a step in the right direction. “I’m much more broadly marketable when I can talk with fellow human beings about subjects that they actually care about!” One CS student chirped.

Others, however, question the assumption that this will make them more enticing hires. “All I want to do is work for Google or Facebook. Everyone there already knows how distributed parallel systems scale big data to mobile using the cloud to provide software as a service.”

Coaches were quick to point out which terms had the highest chances of causing a faux pas: “I facepalmed when one student walked up and complimented someone on their back-end, and then offered to improve their big O.”

It remains to be seen if the new requirement will be kept in future years, especially as AI inches ever-closer to passing the Turing test. “We are keeping an eye out for any students who attempt to cheat, by writing a program that passes the test instead of just taking it themselves,” Moore assured readme.

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