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The Turing Test

The Turing Test

Short description

The Turing test is a way of testing whether a robot exhibits human intelligence to such an extent that we think it is a human. During the activity, the students review a number of answers and assess whether the answer was written by a chatbot or by their fellow students. If the chatbot's answer cannot be identified, it has passed the Turing test. The activity can give the students a greater understanding of this technology and lead to a dialogue about the proper use of chatbots in connection with their studies. 




Digital competencies

  • Understanding how chatbots work, what they are and are not capable of, as well as how we can interact with them. 

Source criticism

  • The activity trains the students’ critical thinking in relation to both sources and technology.  

Current topic for discussion 

  • The activity may give rise to academic reflection and discussion, e.g. a philosophical discussion of what consciousness and intelligence are, source criticism, plagiarism, etc. 


How does the activity take place?

Teacher's preparation

  • The teacher prepares a series of questions based on the teaching content. If necessary, consider the taxonomic level of the questions and how many characters the answer should have. For example: 

    • Explain...  

    • The differences between...  

    • What XXX thinks of XXX...   

    • Write a poem about...

  • Test the questions yourself in a chatbot and assess whether the quality of the answers is appropriate. 

  • Send the questions to the students and, if necessary, specify a framework for their answers, e.g. the approximate number of characters and that they cannot use chatbots to generate their answers.  

Student's preparation

  • The students answer the questions sent to them and share them with the teacher, for example in a discussion forum or assignments in Brightspace. NOTE: It is important that the students cannot see each other's answers.

Teacher's preparation

  • Select a number of answers from the students' answers and prepare a quiz with the students' answers as well as the chatbot's answers. You may want to set up the quiz in Mentimeter.

In class



  • Present the Turing test and the purpose of the exercise to the students.  

  • Show the selected answers (from the students and from the chatbot) one by one on slides. The students assess whether the individual answers were written by a chatbot or by a fellow student, and cast their vote. 

    • It is easy to show the distribution of answers directly in Mentimeter 



  • In groups, the students discuss patterns in the answers, e.g. based on the following questions: 

    • Was it difficult to distinguish between the chatbot and a human? 

    • What types of questions does the chatbot answer well/less well? 

    • What are the chatbot's answers like compared to the others? 

    • What are the perspectives of using chatbots within the subject/degree programme?





Taxonomic level of questions 

  • By asking the chatbot questions of varying taxonomic levels, it may be possible to spot where the technology answers are not as good as the students’. This can be part of the Turing test. 

Options to vary the activity

Options to vary the activity

Chatbot vs expert

  • Instead of letting the students answer the questions, answers from the teacher, theorists or other relevant literature can be incorporated instead. 

Test other AI tools 

  • The test can be carried out with other forms of machine learning or artificial intelligence. For example, try the test with an image generator.  


Time frame Short activity
When will the activity take place?   In class
Primary format  In plenum
Form of instruction  Lecture and classroom instruction
Main type of activity  Information and knowledge, production, communication and discussion
How will the activity take place?  In person 
Relevant technology  Chatbots, Brightspace, Mentimeter, quizzes and questionnaires, lecture, classroom instruction 


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