We have talked about the turing test before, now it appears the US Army wants to give it a shot in World of Warcraft. Along with several other advanced technologies like regenerating body parts, erasing bad memories, and electronic telepathy they are attempting to develop virtual soldiers that look and behave like a real human.
To test these virtual humans they are going to deploy them in World of Warcraft. The virtual soldiers should be able to convince humans they are real, going as far as emulating emotion and using local slang correctly while responding to questions and communicating effectively with other players.
It appears the Army is attempting to tackle some very complex AI and Nanotechnological problems. If one of their AI soldiers does manage to fit in properly in World of Warcraft, how far off is it from passing a full Turing Test? Does it have full understanding and is able to relay tactical situation information back or does it just manage to fit in without any higher awareness of its situation?
They may be biting off more than they can chew, however the Army/DoD have been responsible for several massive technological advances. Anyone ever hear of this thing called the internet?