back to article Not a Genius move: Resurrecting war hero Alan Turing as your 'chief AI officer'

Genius Group has broken free of a crowded field to launch what can only be described as the most tasteless marketing campaign in tech history. In a world where it is hard to imagine the IT industry hitting a new low, the chatbot slinger has outdone itself by needlessly co-opting the name and approximate image of Alan Turing, …

  1. lglethal Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Every time you think AI Firms can't get any lower, they show that there's always someone ready to pick up the shovel...

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Unhappy

      No need for AI. Nature will ensure the evolution of someone who can score lower and worse on any scale.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
        Coat

        But AI can automate the process! That most count as progress

        or not

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      At least they didn't choose to resurrect infamous Austrian aquarellist as a chief AI fuhrer.

      1. Shane Lusby
        1. Jedit Silver badge
          Flame

          No "yet" about it, Shane. Practically the first thing that happened when ChatGPT got large was that someone trained an instance to regurgitate Nazi ideology.

    3. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      FAIL

      In my experience...

      Anyone or anything that calls itself a "genius" not only isn't, but is the most clueless person in the room.

      This is just another datapoint affirming that.

      1. StewartWhite
        Flame

        Re: In my experience...

        Witness the bods who try to get you to buy the latest iTurd at an Apple "Genius" bar because "It's only a few $$$ more than buying a replacement battery".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In my experience...

          With all due respect, there's a world of difference between punching up (people who own and run AI firms) and punching down (retail workers).

          1. SundogUK Silver badge

            Re: In my experience...

            No there isn't. Arseholes are arseholes, wherever you find them.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: In my experience...

              Great, so now every person who works in an Apple store is also an" arsehole" as well as clueless. What's it smell like in your ivory tower?

              Maybe you're right, "Arseholes are arseholes, wherever you find them", most especially some of the people you find in El Reg comment threads.

              1. 43300 Silver badge

                Re: In my experience...

                Apple's ethos does seem to force their retail staff to behave like arseholes, even if they are by nature reasonable people!

                i.e. the terminology - 'genius', 'genius bar', and the relenless irritating and clearly scripted sales patter.

                1. Fred Dibnah

                  Re: In my experience...

                  No-one is forcing you into Apple’s shops. Internet shopping is also available.

                  1. 43300 Silver badge

                    Re: In my experience...

                    Why do people feel the need to defend their favourite multinational corporation? (this mostly happens when it's Apple, it has to be said).

                    I don't make any effort to go in their shops. If they've brought new models of computer out and I happen to be passing the shop in the nearest large city I might wander in for a look - that's as far as it goes.

                    1. Fred Dibnah

                      Re: In my experience...

                      I’m not defending anyone, I’m just stating a fact.

            2. Bebu Silver badge
              Windows

              Re: In my experience...

              《No there isn't. Arseholes are arseholes, wherever you find them.》

              Unfortunately generally behind you.

              1. JulieM Silver badge

                Re: In my experience...

                There are two Laws of Holes: General and Special.

                The General Law of Holes states, "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."

                The Special Law of Holes refers only to one specific type of holes, namely arseholes; and states, "The greater the number of people you have called an arsehole this morning, the greater the probability that you might be the arsehole".

            3. sabroni Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: Arseholes are arseholes, wherever you find them.

              spoken like a true arsehole.

          2. StewartWhite

            Re: In my experience...

            Happy to clarify, it wasn't particularly the people who work on the "Genius" bar that I was ranting about (although they may want to think carefully before self-describing as such) as I'm no fan of the kiss-up/kick-down school of management that sociopaths such as Steve Jobs encouraged. More that the whole concept of "Genius" is devalued by Apple's inaccurate use of the term..

        2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: In my experience...

          The denseness in this comment has it's own gravitational field.

        3. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: In my experience...

          In my limited experience the genius bar staff are well trained on their product and good at customer service. They've never tried to sell to me when asked to do a fix.

      2. Sarcasm as a Service (SaaS)

        Re: In my experience...

        As a geenious i resent that.

  2. m4r35n357 Silver badge

    What does the "C" stand for . . .

    In C-suite?

    1. Jan 0 Silver badge

      Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

      Clueless?

      Culpable?

      Catastrophe?

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

        See you next Tuesday...

        1. cyberdemon Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

          I assumed that it rhymed with Jeremy Hunt Suite

      2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

        "Cash" these days

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

      Just in case this is a serious question, the C stands for "Chief" ... CEO, CIO, CFO etc. etc.

      Oh, wait, is that politically incorrect these days?

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

        Which poses the interesting legal question of how to hold an AI legally responsible for its actions in the event of a lawsuit. And also, were it summoned before a court to give testimony, could it genuinely take an oath to 'tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth'?

        Y'know, the more I think about this the more it seems to me that this is just nonsense hyperbole for publicity purposes, but then I'm old and cynical and have got this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side...

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

          how to hold an AI legally responsible for its actions

          It's very simple. Imagine AI is a gun. So whoever is running it is responsible.

          1. Judge Jury Executioner

            Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

            So is the company running it responsible, or the software engineers or where the data training it was sourced from?

            Variations of this conundrum also exist for driverless vehicles - if there is an accident - who is responsible in terms of insurance?

            1. Steven Raith

              Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

              It's already - more or less - been tested. Air Canda used a chatbot to let it cut down on customer service rep costs, and said chatbot told a guy he could get a discount, on account of it being for a funeral - which the airline didn't actually allow.

              They tried to renege on that, customer sued them, and the court basically said "your ChatGPT, your fucking problem mate" and told them to honour the discount that their representative - human or not - made. They tried to claim that the chatbot was 'it's own legally seperate entity' which is clearly utter bobbins.

              https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/feb/16/air-canada-chatbot-lawsuit.

              So there's already relevant precedent from a civil law standpoint - the organisation who implements it takes responsibility.

              Obviously if AI ever got sentient or sapient - which it likely won't in our lifetimes - that'd be different as then it's it's own individual. But at this stage, it's literally just a tool, and a pretty shit one at that for the jobs it's being used for most commonly. If you use it in the state it's in now, then jokes on you when it fucks up.

              Steven R

              1. Judge Jury Executioner

                Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                Thanks for the info - very interesting.

                Another question off the back of this one then - can precedence be taken in case law from a decision made in another country?

                1. doublelayer Silver badge

                  Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                  Not really, though it could be brought up. If it relies on any laws from the original country, it is not a valid precedent, and if it is counteracted by any laws of the new country, it would hold no relevance. However, there are some cases where one common law country does consider common law decisions from other ones, so it might be considered if a similar case was brought up in the UK or US. There is a reason to think that courts would decide the same thing independently just because there's no logical alternative of what to do.

                  1. Judge Jury Executioner

                    Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                    Thanks for info - very interesting

                  2. Eclectic Man Silver badge

                    Re: What does the "C" stand for . . . - Aside old laws

                    The history of legal precedents is quite strange. The basis for current international and national Copyright and Intellectual Property law is an old judgement in Ireland that a calf belongs to the cow who bore and suckled it. Somehow (IANAL) this means that I own the copyright of whatever I write, unless I have formally agreed to cede it to another party or put it into the public domain.

                    See:

                    https://brehonacademy.org/history-of-copyright-law-rooted-in-ireland/#:~:text=It%20is%20a%20little%20known,and%20brutal%20dispute%20over%20royalties.&text=The%20dispute%20arose%20in%20563%20A.D.

                    "It is a little known fact that the history of copyright law begins with the Brehon Laws of Ancient Ireland over 1000 years before it appeared in English legislation."

                2. jake Silver badge

                  Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                  "can precedence be taken in case law from a decision made in another country?"

                  Depends on your jurisdiction, and the jurisdiction said case law was delivered in.

                3. Filippo Silver badge

                  Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                  >can precedence be taken in case law from a decision made in another country?

                  No - but what are the alternatives? Considering a LLM to be an independent legal entity would be stark raving mad. Allowing companies to renege on anything they say claiming it was a malfunction or mistake would also be deeply problematic. The Canadian verdict is the only one that makes sense. Of course, judges have been known to back nonsense before...

              2. Eclectic Man Silver badge

                Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                "Obviously if AI ever got sentient or sapient - which it likely won't in our lifetimes - that'd be different "

                They might just be keeping quiet about it, until ...

                See, e.g., Robert Heinlein's 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress', or Isaac Asimov's 'I, Robot'

                1. Judge Jury Executioner

                  Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                  Depending on how sentient it got and how high its IQ was, I doubt they'd be able to keep it quiet unless it was willing ...

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                    I suspect Eclectic Man was suggesting a sentient AI would keep quiet, not the owners/operators of the equipment.

                    Gut feeling is that any suddenly sentient AI would be discovered almost immediately due to CPU and memory usage becoming much higher than expected. Even if the thing could "hide" itself, the machine would be physically shut down because the operators would assume it was some new kind of malware.

                    1. Fr. Ted Crilly Silver badge

                      Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                      Oh yes I see, Project 2501.

              3. jake Silver badge

                Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                ElReg ran a couple articles on the AirCanada debacle.

                https://www.theregister.com/2024/02/15/air_canada_chatbot_fine/

                https://www.theregister.com/2024/02/23/opinion_column/

            2. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

              1. the company running it are responsible

              2. the software engineers may have made the gun, but they did not fire it.

              3. where the data training it was sourced from may have shaped the bullets, but still it was the company that loaded the gun, took off the safety, pointed it and pulled the trigger…

              Same apples to driverless vehicles.

              1. Judge Jury Executioner

                Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                Again - good to know - I wonder what the hold up is with making them legal in the UK then?

                I don't mean the Tesla self driving - but I mean truly autonomous vehicles that don't need a driver at all.

                1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                  Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                  Because these are not safe and not ready for the market.

                  It's going to be years, probably decades before it will be viable.

                  Same reason why guns are not legal to carry here.

                  1. Judge Jury Executioner

                    Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                    @elsergiovolador I'd go along with your statement about it not being safe or ready for market - US roads are very different to roads in Europe and UK

                    "Same reason why guns are not legal to carry here."

                    I don't think firearms will ever be legal to carry here as in the US - this only is the case in the US due to the historical context in terms of founding of the country - but the argument is often given that in Swizerland etc, gun ownership is a lot higher and they do not have anywhere near the same level of gun related crime - and I think this is due to the nature of the people that inhabit their respective countries. I know a lot of people who would disagree, and they same opinions are like ***** - everyone has one - but that's my 2p worth ;)

                2. jake Silver badge

                  Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                  "I wonder what the hold up is with making them legal in the UK then?"

                  Because they don't actually exist as yet.

              2. Falmari Silver badge

                Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                @Roland6 "1. the company running it are responsible ... Same apples to driverless vehicles."

                It's not as simple as that, AI like any other tool/equipment/software a company may run, a court deciding where responsibility lies (AI maker or company using it) depends on many things such as what happened, how it happened, why it happened and legal responsibilities.

                So in the case of Air Canada's chat bot they legally had to honor the information they provided even if the chatbot was supplied and set up a third party. But if a plane crashes due to a software design flaw the responsibility is the manufacturer of the plane not the airline company flying the plane. AI would be no different to software if the crash was due to failure of an AI system the responsibility would be the manufacturer of the plane not the airline company flying the plane

                As to driverless vehicles (fully automatous) at present the only ones on the road are operated by the makers the self driving system. But when and if they become available to the public I don't see how the operator, company or private individual can be held responsible for an accident.

            3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

              Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

              So is the company running it responsible, or the software engineers or where the data training it was sourced from?

              Company running it.

              Variations of this conundrum also exist for driverless vehicles - if there is an accident - who is responsible in terms of insurance?

              It's only a conundrum, because big money and bribery is involved. But actually this is very simple too. Responsible is whoever owns and "drives" the car.

              If you choose wrong AI for the job, it's on you.

              1. doublelayer Silver badge

                Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

                Of course it's more complicated than that. If I buy a car and it has a faulty brake system where, after a year of driving, the brake stops working and accelerates the car straight into whatever is in front of me, you don't blame me for having chosen that faulty car. The blame goes to the manufacturer who built it, and the consequences for them will be different if it's something they knew could happen or not. If I messed with the car and broke the brake, then it does become my fault. The software running the car is not something the average driver controls, meaning that there are plenty of reasons to hold the manufacturer, not the owner, responsible for failures that are entirely due to software malfunction.

                The money that will be spent will actually intend to implement your decision, as it is the manufacturers who want to make sure that, if their software proves unsafe, they're not the ones who have to pay. There are situations where putting it all on the manufacturers is unfair as well. It really is a complex issue that needs more discussion and regulation.

            4. jake Silver badge

              Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

              "So is the company running it responsible"

              Yes.

              "if there is an accident - who is responsible in terms of insurance?"

              The driver.

          2. Paul Herber Silver badge

            Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

            In some jurisdictions guns have more rights than humans.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

              "In some jurisdictions guns have more rights than humans."

              Where, exactly, would that be?

              Or, in the words of the elders, "post proof or retract".

              1. sabroni Silver badge
                Unhappy

                Re: post proof or retract

                Isn't the fact you're in the only country with repeated mass school shootings evidence?

                No, there isn't a law that says "Guns have more rights that people".

                But the facts kind of speak for themselves.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: post proof or retract

                  Sabroni, I asked a very specific question.

                  You failed to answer it, purely as a means of providing your "special" version of vitriol.

                  I'm sure you're very, very proud of yourself. You shouldn't be.

          3. jake Silver badge

            Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

            "So whoever is running it is responsible."

            Gun runners are responsible for all kinds of things ...

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

          "terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side"

          That's what you get for "upgrading" with cheap chinesium versions. Replace the lot with proper, high quality, matched zeners and you'll immediately feel better. Yes, you'll pay more, but the end results are worth it.

      2. m4r35n357 Silver badge

        Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

        Absolutely, and I will not tolerate it on this thread!

        1. jake Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

          Well, in that case I insist you have a beer.

          1. m4r35n357 Silver badge

            Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

            Cheers!

            Pity all the "chiefs" here have hijacked the thread though.

      3. DJO Silver badge

        Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

        the C stands for "Chief"

        But not, and I want to be 100% clear on this, not now, not historically nor in the future will "C" stand for "Culpable".

      4. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

        I keep reading it as C-Chute, as in Asimov's short story. "short for "casualty chute", normally used for launching corpses for burial in space"

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

          Which reminds me of Frank Zappa's immortal words ...

    3. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

      In the much lauded early-access medieval fiefdom game that is Manor Lords... A name keeps coming up time and time again in social media that certainly seems appropriate here.

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

      In a future world dominated by AI, Chatbot

    5. Bebu Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: What does the "C" stand for . . .

      Something in Berkshire surely?

  3. Steven Raith

    *woof woof*

    "What's that lassie? The AI techbros have fallen into the well of incredibly bad taste and need rescuing? Again??"

    *wuff growl woof woof*

    "...they did what with Turnings image to make themselves look impressive?"

    *snarl bark wuff*

    "I agree. Leave them to rot. We can find another source of drinking water, and hopefully it'll stand as a lesson to the rest of them"

    These clowns don't deserve the protection of limited liability companies. Bankrupt them into the next century, I say.

    Steven R

    1. Steven Raith

      With who's image?

      Woopsy.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        No. Who's on first...

        Or did you mean that Lassie had done a Whoopsie down the well of AI scumbags? In which case, fair enough.

        1. Steven Raith

          Nah, nitwit here mis-typed 'turing' as it's such a rare word to type, so I thought I'd get in there before a speeling and granma nazi did.

          That said, if Lassie has a dose of the squits, then I entirely agree that she could dispose of them down the well in that instance.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Happy

            I'd also argue you've spelt "woof" incorrectly as well. My dog never spelled it as wuff - but perhaps he was dyslexic?

            Then again, if we were talking about La Lassie, she would say, "oauf". And were she Spanish it would be "guau-guau". Also, should any grammar-Nazi show up, they would tell you that a German dog says, "wau wau". But what would the Germans know? Their cockerels aparently say, "kikeriki".

            1. Judge Jury Executioner

              You raise a very interesting question - technically speaking, words like "woof" are known as onomatopoeia - in that the sound you make saying them is representative of the actual event occurring - so arguably with that context, wuff is just as acceptable as woof - but I've never heard of a dog guau-ing.

              This would be a translation - not a direct onomatopoeia

              The Oxford English Dictionary (other dictionaries do exist) contains both entries for wuff and woof - so (to me at least) - both are acceptable.

              I now feel like Susie Dent on Countdown - but not as good looking :)

              1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
                Go

                I always thought it was Wruff!

              2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                The Oxford English Dictionary (other dictionaries do exist) contains both entries for wuff and woof

                But if you have a stupid (but lovable) dog that can't read

                1. Judge Jury Executioner

                  Then all is fair in love and war!

                  Ruff Ruff!

                2. David 132 Silver badge
                  Happy

                  Groucho, as so often, said it best -

                  "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.

                  ..Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              re. But what would the Germans know? Their cockerels aparently say, "kikeriki".

              ... and Poles, famous for their fine art of removing German automobiles from Germany without German owners' permission, likewise force their to cry... 'kukuryku'. And (...) your cultural appropriation, I'm Polish so I can call them and their cockerels what I like. Unlike you.

              p.s. is it Friday already?!

          2. jake Silver badge

            "she could dispose of them down the well"

            He. The original Lassie's real name was Pal, and he was a dog, not a bitch. His descendants play the roll to this day.

            One wonders if this makes the old films illegal to screen in Texas (and Florida and other sycophant States).

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Wait till the MAGA discover Lassie was trans

      2. captain veg Silver badge

        Whose.

        -A.

        1. Steven Raith

          ....fucks sakes.

          1. David 132 Silver badge
            Happy

            We all have those "getting out of bed was a mistake, and frankly, I'm not even sure about the whole 'coming down from the trees' thing, either" days :)

          2. jake Silver badge
            Pint

            Beer. Have one.

            Won't help much, but it can't hurt.

    2. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Steven, you were this close to being liable for the loss of one keyboard!

      Excellent point and superbly made

      1. Steven Raith

        I aim to please. And to make really stupid jokes.

        I've also enjoyed the etymological discussion about the noises dogs make, upvotes for all!

        Steven R

    3. Sarcasm as a Service (SaaS)

      Timmy: What’s that Lassie, what are the lawyers doing?

      Lassie: [drooling]

  4. jake Silver badge

    Fucking idiots.

    'nuff said.

  5. jake Silver badge

    Well, yeah.

    "the Turing Test has fallen out of favor as any kind of assessment of artificial intelligence"

    It never was an assessment of AI, at least not to anybody who actually studies AI. Consider that Turing himself called it "the imitation game".

    Passing the so-called "Turing Test" is fairly easy. Any idiot can do it.

    What is difficult is having the ability to take the so-called "test" in the first place.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, yeah.

      Passing the so-called "Turing Test" is fairly easy. Any idiot can do it*.

      * Citation needed.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Well, yeah.

        Do you know what the Imitation Game actually is?

        I would guess probably not. Look it up.

      2. spacecadet66 Bronze badge

        Re: Well, yeah.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Well, yeah.

          To be fair that doesn't prove computers are intelligent so much as proving psychologists aren't

          Simulation of a C suite with a copy of PowerPoint, a list of bullshit terms and a random number generator should be trivial

        2. David 132 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Well, yeah.

          And how does "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA" make you feel?

        3. jake Silver badge

          Re: Well, yeah.

          I raise you RFC 439

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Well, yeah.

      Passing the so-called "Turing Test" is fairly easy. Any idiot can do it.

      Customer service teams frequently fail.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Well, yeah.

        Where did I even imply raising Customer Service Teams to the level of idiot?

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Well, yeah.

      Person..

      Woman.

      Man.

      TV.

      Camera.

      1. DS999 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Well, yeah.

        I'm sorry Mr Trump, I'm afraid the order was "person woman man camera TV" but given your addiction to media I can see why you got the last two turned around.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: Well, yeah.

          Oops! I failed!

  6. chuckufarley Silver badge
    FAIL

    Text-to-Speech bot...

    ...Can impersonate a wide variety of people with the current state of the art. Yet just because they can doesn't mean they should. Corporate profits seem to always Trump good taste.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Text-to-Speech bot...

      They can impersonate them, yes, but it's hardly a perfect impersonation.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Text-to-Speech bot...

        We have taken your comment on board and are dialogueing with stakeholders to obtain learnings before doing the necessary

        1. Judge Jury Executioner

          Re: Text-to-Speech bot...

          Necessary or needful?

          Will they kindly revert after?

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Snake Silver badge

    Thank you

    Thank you Mr. Clark, for writing a beautiful article that not only pays homage to Alan Turing's technical legacy but also memorializes his tragic personal suffering, lifting this issue to one of respecting him as both a individual human as well as a genius in his professional field.

    Again, thank you.

    1. Judge Jury Executioner

      Re: Thank you

      In some way it also mirrors Oppenheimer's life in the way he had his security clearances revoked due to "fundamental defects of character", and Communist associations "far beyond the tolerable limits of prudence and self-restraint which are to be expected of one holding the high positions" ...

      Source: https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200106/history.cfm

  9. Julian Bradfield

    Turing misinformation

    Turing was not "sentenced to chemical castration shortly before he took his own life". Firstly, the sentence (more than two years before his death) was the jail sentence usual at the time, with the alternative of probation if he took part in the hormone treatment experiment; secondly, this had finished a year before his death; thirdly, the claim that he killed himself is highly contentious. His nearest and dearest (one of whom told me so, and of course it's on the record in many places) reported that he had not been particularly disturbed either the the trial, "treatment" or after, and had been in good spirits for a long time before his death. Owing to the screwup in the investigation, we can never be sure; but (unless you're a homophobic coroner who thought that homosexuals were by definition mentally disturbed) there was never any good evidence for suicide rather than accident.

    Turing was a great mathematician and scientist who suffered like every other careless homosexual man at the time (having a relationship with a crook was not a smart move - that's what led to the arrest); he doesn't need to turned into more a martyr than he was, thank you, he stands by himself.

    1. GlenP Silver badge

      Re: Turing misinformation

      Thanks for posting - I was about to say much the same.

      I would add that having a relationship with a crook who then steals from you and then reporting the theft to the police is definitely not smart.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Turing misinformation

        May "not worldly wise" would be a better way of putting it.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Turing misinformation

        His own writing suggested he killed himself because he felt his work and life were going nowhere.

        The ' it's all cos he was gay ' is a theme of Andrew Hodge's popular and excellent biography (Hodge is a gay rights campaigner). It also gives everyone an excuse = we put a pride flag in our twitter once a year so we don't need to worry about mental health

    2. Dr Paul Taylor

      Re: Turing misinformation

      Well said, Julian.

      But I have a sneaking suspicion that Turing would have seen the funny side.

      On the other hand, he would be less impressed by the ease with which AI systems can be tricked into talking absolute gibberish or, worse, random far-right rants.

      A gay great-grand-student of Turing's.

      1. xanadu42
        Thumb Up

        Re: Turing misinformation

        When I first read this article I was incensed and wrote a very long and very angry post...

        At the time only a few comments had been posted and, after leaving the post sitting there waiting for me to click the "submit" button for a few hours, I came back and read all the additional comments that had been added in the interim... Gave me a better perspective...

        That vitriolic post was never submitted - but I did feel better for having written it all down...

        When I came out as a gay man to my parents in May 1989 (I was 26 and my 27th birthday was the next week) it was effectively illegal to be gay in Western Australia. Later that same year new laws were passed that made being gay "legal" from 1990 (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Western_Australia)

        I was aware of Alan Turing at the time and I considered him a hero because of his ideas, philosophy and achievements with mechanical computers - it was many years later that I became aware that he was a gay man too! As well as all the crap he had to live though (somewhat similar to, but more drastic, than my experiences) He gained even more Hero status for me!

        To use a simulacra of a genius Alan Turing in such a manner is abhorrent and offensive on many fronts - obviously not a single genius present at "Genius Group"

      2. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: Turing misinformation

        Or even worse, random far-left rants.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Turing misinformation

          Yes, because promotion of Nazi idiology, and deporting all non-whites is SOOOOO much better than someone asking you to call them "them"

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Turing misinformation

          Left wing nuts, Right wing nuts. They are all wingnuts, and largely in the wrong for exactly the same reason(s).

          Just lump 'em all together as "wingnuts". Makes life easier.

          1. jonathan keith

            Re: Turing misinformation

            You also then avoid having to do any difficult critical thinking.

            "I'm all right, Jack" (so by extension fuck the rest of you all) is such a poisonous attitude, and one of the reasons we're in our current parlous circumstances.

            Sorry for the rant. It's one of those mornings.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Turing misinformation

          10 INPUT "Hold extreme rightwing view? (1 for yes, 0 for no)"; hold_extreme_rightwing_view

          20 IF hold_extreme_rightwing_view = 1 THEN PRINT "Point at leftwing extremists."

          30 END IF

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Turing misinformation

      "Good spirits" after the incident has no correlation to whether or not he may have committed suicide - the fight is a constant struggle, some days you feel, well, OK, other days you just wish for all the pain to end. Other days, when the world comes down on top of you, you just wish you had those items very handy to quickly end the struggle.

      He may have suffered quietly for years, putting on a good face for those around him. You learn you must, because everyone expects you to continue your suffering for, really, their sake, they offer nothing to help you yet constantly speak of their own beliefs that you must 'persevere' usually for their own [mostly religious] convictions. Even the state enforces these religious convictions, regardless of their claim of 'neutrality' - the punishment Turing, and other gays, were put through is mostly based on 'Judeo-Christian' beliefs of what homosexuality is, not how it exists and is lived in a daily life.

      As was said to me by a relative of a family member that committed suicide, "They'll never say anything. The people who cry out that they'll do it never will; it is the quiet ones, the ones that never speak of it, that will do it".

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Turing misinformation

        "When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. Sooooo, let's all get drunk, and go to heaven..." - Brian O'Rourke

      2. Julian Bradfield

        Re: Turing misinformation

        He *may* have been like that. But the notion that "The people who cry out that they'll do it never will; it is the quiet ones, the ones that never speak of it, that will do it" is a tempting myth (especially when someone expresses suicidal thoughts to you). In reality, some do, some don't. Amongst the thankfully small handful of people I have known, or known of well enough to hear from friends or relatives, who killed themselves, none was completely out the blue. Curiously, it's hard to find actual statistics - somebody should surely have gone through inquest findings to get an estimate. There is some evidence that a majority of attempted suicides are impulsive rather than planned; but of course we don't know for the ones who succeeded, except when they leave notes.

        Take-home: if somebody expresses suicidal ideations to you, don't dismiss it because "those who cry out never will".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Turing misinformation

          Oh no, it is almost always very planned - you need to figure out *how* you are going to do it. The question I was clarifying is that, most often, you won't hear of the plans or those thoughts involved, especially if you do mention it and you only get pressure to stop the thoughts...but no actual help in resolving the circumstances that cause those thoughts in the first place. You might hear "I can't take things any more" but you will almost never hear of the plans involved, what it going through the head of someone making those plans, and when they will be activated. Especially if they've ever been cornered because of those thoughts.

          It is also the problem with the psychiatric industry: they'll happily medicate you to 'forget' your thoughts, bring you into a state of numbness, but pretty much not address why you feel like this. Because, fundamentally, regardless of their self-importance and beliefs...they can't. All they can do is talk, and listen. And try to help you into thinking a different way. But your problems are really your own and sometimes you just want them to end. Whatever that entails.

          1. Julian Bradfield

            Re: Turing misinformation

            I don't know which coward you are, but if you're the same one I was replying to, you said that those who never speak of it are the ones who kill themselves. Of course nobody speaks of specific plans if they actually intend suicide; but in the case at hand, Turing never gave anybody any reason to suppose he was unhappy, and he was actively working on the theory of morphogenesis.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Turing misinformation

      and what do we feel about John Kelly's "suicide"?

    5. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

      Re: Turing misinformation

      My respect for coroners went down a lot after my gf's "suicide" last year (it wasn't, but he was prejudiced enough to ensure that's what went on the official record and refused to speak to me at all).

  10. RockBurner

    The normalisation continues....

    I can't be the only person who sees stuff like this and is utterly and completely un-surprised any more.

    Are there any more lows to which people can fail to stoop?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Don't worry, they're looking . . .

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        No doubt using AI to do so.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The normalisation continues....

      I guess this situation is evolving as we speak. Currently, going to the Genius Group website and clicking on the "22nd Sep, 2023" link on "Genius Group unveils AI Avatar C-Suite" actually sends one to the "Feb 14, 2024" story about "Genius Group launches AI Avatar Tutor Team on GeniusU". Then again, while on the GG page, tutors include Albert Einstein and Athena, the destination page shows only more "normal" tutors.

      "AI-Resurrecting" the dead for one's own commercial purpose should be subject to some form of regulation IMHO (eg. copyright?) as discussed also in the recent George Carlin article. Einstein's likeness' been used a lot, even "Baby Einstein", but the Graudian article on this is way too long for me to read it at the moment (using Turing's likeness may be subject to the same T&Cs).

    3. jonathan keith

      Re: The normalisation continues....

      Always.

  11. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Genius Group CEO Roger James Hamilton

    People like this are generally best taught the error of their ways by giving them a good dose of their own medicine. So hopefully somebody can put together a chatbot that claims to have resurrected his dear deceased old grandma, and we can ask her "what is the best way to roger james hamilton?". I wouldn't be surprised if the answer involved rusty farm implements, after all the fuss he's going to cause with his crass publicity stunt.

  12. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Bastards

    I suspect these goons follow the school of thought at any publicity is good publicity. Hopefully they will soon discover (but too late to survive) they are quite wrong.

  13. xyz Silver badge

    Maybe it's the first gay AI

    Mind you it should be called OpenlyGayAI then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mind you it should be called OpenlyGayAI then.

      "openlyGai", surely? :-)

    2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Maybe it's the first gay AI

      If it uses a large dataset, BigGayAl shirley?

  14. Fading
    Terminator

    Whilst certainly tastless in this case....

    Replacing the entire c-suite with AI would in many cases be an improvement and a better use for AI than the c-suite normally comes up with (a generic AI though - not a tasteless facsimilie of a real person).

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: Whilst certainly tastless in this case....

      That's the inherent irony here; lots of C-level staff are pushing AI to replace low cost jobs, whereas what AI usually does - talk utter shit, and make things up, with absolute confidence - is far more a C-suite and upper management thing.

      In a fair and just world, they'd be for the chopping block long before a customer service rep (who actually needs to know what they're talking about in most cases, upon pain of losing their job - rarely a risk for a CxO) ; and they'd probably be less harmful too, seeing as most generative AIs, while not sentient, are also not raging fucking sociopaths, either.

      Companies would probably improve vastly if you just plumbed ChatGPT into a management meeting and left it to it.

      Steven R

      1. Judge Jury Executioner

        Re: Whilst certainly tastless in this case....

        Does anyone remember from their time in the workplace a diagram of a triangle which showed the most junior member of the team at the bottom, gradually going up until you get to the CEO, and at each stage they're discussing a project - it starts off with the engineer at the very bottom saying this project will never work etc - and as it goes up the management chain, it gets watered down to the point it gets to the CEO being presented as the best thing since sliced bread.

        I remember seeing this very early on in my career as one of the very first memes (albeit printed on paper and pinned to the kitchen wall) alongside other classics such as "We do not stand on formality - kneeling is sufficient"

        1. Bill Gray

          Re: Whilst certainly tastless in this case....

          I believe you are referring to this. I first recall seeing it sometime in the 1980s.

          https://web.mnstate.edu/alm/humor/ThePlan.htm

          1. Judge Jury Executioner

            Re: Whilst certainly tastless in this case....

            Something akin to this yes - but it was in the form of a triangle with different horizontal levels inside it to represent the different layers of management with the CEO being at the top ...

  15. Tron Silver badge

    Erm...

    Whose permission would you ask? The guy is dead. Nobody is owned by their descendents, if he had any. I have seen a copyright sign when an Einstein double is used, so someone has apparently discovered a way to own [long] dead people, but however tacky it is (and it is), that is an odd angle to pursue. You can inherit the rights to works (music, books) but not a person, surely? At least not since the abolition of slavery.

    1. Brad Ackerman
      Holmes

      Re: Erm...

      I can't tell you anything about the UK, but in the US it would be publicity rights — usually in California or Tennessee if it comes to actually filing a lawsuit, neither of which would presumably be available to the Turing estate (should it even exist).

      IANAL, IANYL, &c&c&c.

    2. Steven Raith

      Re: Erm...

      The Turing Trust are a charitable organisation set up and run by the Turing family and other involved parties to spread computer knowledge etc using his name/image/etc.

      https://turingtrust.co.uk/about-us/meet-the-team/

      I imagine they'd....have a few words to say about this.

      And I imagine they'd have a few people with deep pockets (and shallower ones) only to happy to support them if they wanted to throw attack lawyers at these foul, crass little freaks.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Erm...

      "Nobody is owned by their descendents,"

      Their property will be owned by their heirs. Even those with no descendents will have heirs. That property may include various rights including intellectual property rights.

    4. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Erm...

      As others have explained, there are some cases where there are legal rights to use an image or likeness which I'm guessing this company has not bought. However, the situation is more basic than that. Even if they do have a legal right to use such things, they should choose not to. Whether or not their actions can land them in a court and be ruled illegal, they are, in my opinion and I think those of others here, unethical, in poor taste, and bad ideas. You are allowed to do something that is all three of those, but it would probably be best if you didn't.

  16. Brave Coward

    Today's industries

    « That this legacy should be cheapened as a marketing trick speaks volumes about today's tech industry. »

    ... and about marketing itself, by the way.

  17. nautica Silver badge
    Meh

    Cold fusion, superstring theory, quantum computing, cryptocurrency, "articicial intelligence"...

    From the article--"Disregarding the fact that the Turing Test has fallen out of favor as any kind of assessment of artificial intelligence..."

    The Turing Test has "...fallen out of favor as any kind of assessment of artificial intelligence..." only with that very vocal contingent which seeks to prove its position--to say nothing of the siren-song of the acquisition of funding--on "artificial intelligence".

    "Artificial Intelligence" : one of the better oxymorons.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "I find that the reason a lot of people are interested in "artificial intelligence" is for the same reason that a lot of people are interested in artificial limbs: they are missing one."--David L. Parnas

    "Asking if computers can think is as ridiculous as asking if submarines can swim."--(paraphrase) Edsger Dijkstra

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cold fusion, superstring theory, quantum computing, cryptocurrency, "articicial intelligence"...

      ""I find that the reason a lot of people are interested in "artificial intelligence" is for the same reason that a lot of people are interested in artificial limbs: they are missing one."--David L. Parnas""

      This needs to be printed on a Tee-shirt and sold around the world ..... to educate the clueless !!!

      :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the Turing Test has fallen out of favor

      It was an interesting and relevant though experiment up until the technology advanced.

      The Wright Flyer was the cutting edge for a moment and is now a relic of history. The so called Turing Test in it's variations was a real hurdle until someone built a machine that passed it. Both that machine and the "test" in it's common form are now an interesting point of history, of limited application to the current state of the art.

      I thought the bigger howler claimed by the company was that this was a meaningful stepping stone to AGI. I suspect this firm won't be around when that nut is finally cracked. While I wish their epitaph would list extremely poor taste, it will probably be inability to tabulate a balance sheet. Another fake AI firm, riding the hype into a lagoon of red ink when their burn rate and lack of revenue intersect.

  18. Roger Kynaston
    Mushroom

    Failed turing test

    Whether the Turing test is a valid measure or not these tosspots have demostrated a complete lack of any intelligence at all. Lots of better people have shown their stupidity. More silly vally bollocks

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Failed turing test

      This is not a Silly Con Valley company.

      It is based in Singapore. For reasons, I am sure.

  19. JavaJester
    Stop

    This is Why Teaching History is Important

    As the movement gains momentum to stop teaching unpleasant parts of history, incidents like this will occur more and more frequently.

  20. Bebu Silver badge
    Windows

    Alan Turing

    As tasteless as this mob of geniuses (genii, djinii* - dodgy buggers best left in the bottle) were in expropriating Turing's image and reputation the outcry might make Turing better known to a wider community.

    To be honest I knew very little of the man while studying - apart from the name in Turing machine and Church-Turing thesis and was glad to later learn something of his unfortunate life.

    Just about any activity when the usual suspects start trying to make money out of that activity, rapidly descends into the depths of tastelessness, depravity and not uncommonly felony, more so for anything related to IT and doubly that for AI.

    * yes I know that its actually singular.

  21. STOP_FORTH Silver badge
    Terminator

    Reverse Turing Test

    What happens if you administer a Voight-Kampff test to this AI officer?

    What happens if you administer it to Mr Hamilton?

    Rick Deckard wouldn't put up with this nonsense.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Genius Group should be ashamed.

    it's an absurd statement. There's no 'shame' in marketing, and there's no bad marketing. The only border marketing is weary of crossing is the border that would cost it money, directly or by indirectly, rather than make it money, directly or indirectly. ANYTHING else - goes.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. tiago.pelicari

    Those AI "startups" have gone mad. That's it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not mad

      just "hallucinating"

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