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Turing Test

9 Jul

Ideological Turing Test

    The Ideological Turing Test is a concept invented by American economist Bryan Caplan to test 
    whether a political or ideological partisan correctly understands the arguments of his or her 
    intellectual adversaries: the partisan is invited to answer questions or write an essay posing as his 
    opposite number. If neutral judges cannot tell the difference between the partisan’s answers and the 
    answers of the opposite number, the candidate is judged to correctly understand the opposing side. 
    The ideological Turing test is so named because of its similarity with the Turing test, a test whereby a 
    machine is required to fool a neutral judge into thinking that it is human.

    History

    Original formulation

    The idea was first mooted by Caplan in 2011[1] in response to Paul Krugman‘s claim that, in the 
    context of US politics, liberals understand conservatives (and libertarians) better than 
    conservatives (and libertarians) understand liberals. Borrowing the idea of the Turing test used 
    to judge whether machines can pass themselves off as human, Caplan suggested the ideological 
    Turing test as a way to impartially test Krugman’s claim: whichever side understands the other 
    better would perform better on an ideological Turing test. He also offered to take the test himself 
    and offered to bet that libertarians could more easily pass themselves off as liberal than liberals 
    could pass themselves off as libertarian.
    Caplan’s post was praised by Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy blog.[2]

    Attempts at the ideological Turing test for political and moral philosophy

    Caplan’s blog post inspired a number of tries at the ideological Turing test by prominent bloggers 
    including Brad DeLong (pretending to be a follower ofRobert Nozick),[3][4] Caplan himself 
    (posing as a conservative),[5] and Ilya Somin (pretending to be a sophisticated left-liberal).[6]