So this week on Jeopardy! IBM's supercomputer, Watson, destroyed the two winningest players in the history of the game show, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. (He didn't destroy them literally. I mean he won the game by a sizeable margin. We're still a couple years away from computers and robots destroying us literally.)
It's been years since a similar supercomputer showdown happened between Garry Kasparov and Deep Blue. The world chess champion was defeated by a computer.
But we all know that recognizing the billions of variations of words and human speech, lingo, nicknames, and subtext is far more difficult for an intelligence that deals in nothing but oodles of "1's" and "0's" than recognizing the combinations of moves on a chess board, despite the fact that there are millions of possible scenarios and outcomes.
Since I've discovered that not very many people have ever looked at this blog, I'm not going to delve too deeply into my philosophies about artificial intelligence. Instead, I shall post a link to this article.
Here's some food for thought: the modern laptop has way more processing power and memory than those gigantic room-sized computers just a few decades back. Imagine that in another few decades, computers with the capacity of Watson will be inside our iPads, phones, laptops, cars, appliances, and whatever else they can manage to stick a computer into.
If you consider that, and the fact that moving, walking robots are improving with every passing year, an android like "Data" from Star Trek: TNG might not be that far fetched after all...
photo courtesy of wcizmowski/morgueFile