Gregory P. Garvey: Catholic Turing Test

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    Catholic Turing Test



Artist Statement:

    As the title of the piece suggests, the Catholic Turing Test takes its inspiration directly from the artist’s experiences as a youth with the Catholic sacrament of confession combined with the now-famous test for judging whether or not a computer can be said to think. This test was first described in the famous article by Alan Turing, entitled “Computer Machinery and Intelligence,” which appeared in the philosophical journal, Mind, in 1950.

    This work challenges the sinner in the confessional to decide whether or not a priest or a computer programmed to act like priest is hearing the confession. In doing so the user/sinner can experience the ecstasy of forgiveness in a Manichean system governed by the binary logic of good and evil where guilt, shame, sin, and salvation, are all input variables that determine the catechism of output: namely how many “Hail Marys” and “Our Fathers” must be said for redemption.