Hoyt Axton Test

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The Hoyt Axton Test was designed to detect androids without the need for physical examination.

Overview

As android technology has progressed, it has become increasingly difficult to tell some of the more advanced models from human beings. Although this makes biological/machine interaction much easier, when androids malfunction or are erroneously reprogrammed, it can be very difficult to detect them before they are able to do harm.

The Test works by scientifically assessing the responses to a range of questions designed to elicit an emotional response. The response times and emotional ranges of simulants are generally different to those of biological humans.

Controversy

Validity

In 2521, Professors Lara Bonelli and Bernard Rosen of the Institute of Applied Robotics, Chicago, published a paper “Do Androids Dream of Cream Tea?” in which they revealed startling inaccuracies in test results carried out to detect simulants within the British Space Empire. The findings call into question the difference between socially-inept beings unable to display a full emotional range and robots.

Several questions have been attacked as prone to providing misleading data. For instance:

  • “You are standing in a queue when a man pushes in ahead of you. You want to tell him that it’s bad form, but that would involve speaking to someone you’ve never been properly introduced to...”

produced confusion and emotional shutdown in over 65% of British test subjects. Similarly:

  • “Your neighbour tells you that he intends to concrete over his carefully-preserved, award-winning flower beds in his front drive, so he can store an extra car there. You would like to protest, but it’s a free country, and an Englishman’s home is his castle, innit?”

This question resulted in a near-total mental lock in several human test subjects, followed by inarticulate mumbling and throat clearing (the so-called "Grant response").

Research continues.

Nomenclature

There is a significant body of opinion that the test should be properly known by another name, and that the term 'Hoyt Axton Text' was in fact coined as a joke by two drunk androids in a singles bar in New Francisco. Another popular opinion is that a rogue historian thought he knew better than the people who came up with the joke test. The true name may, therefore, be lost to history.