Eugene Goostman is a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy from the city of Odessa. He has a pet guinea pig, likes candy and hamburgers, and has a famous gynaecologist for a father. Eugene is also a computer program, one whose artificial intelligence was good enough to win top prize at the Turing 100, the biggest Turing test in history. The event was held over the weekend at Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes in the UK, where the test’s designer, Alan Turing, first cracked the German Enigma code.

A successful machine can trick people 30 percent of the time — Eugene scored 29

A Turing test is designed to evaluate a machine’s artificial intelligence, measuring how often it can deceive a judge into believing it, too is a human being. A machine is successful if it can trick people 30 percent of the time. Eugene, the work of New Jersey-based Vladimir Veselov, fell just short of the goal at 29 percent. Despite being a frequent runner-up in competitions like the Chatterbox Challenge and the Loebner prize, this weekend’s event marks Eugene’s first Turing test win.

It’s thought that the appearance of a personality may have given Eugene an edge on his data-mining competition, although the results of the test are far from conclusive. But, supposing you were to give your robot a personality, why go with that of a 7th grader? Veselov explains his reasoning: "13 years old is too old to know everything and too young to know nothing."