[ExI] Watson on NOVA

spike spike66 at att.net
Sun Feb 13 17:38:36 UTC 2011

 On Behalf Of Richard Loosemore
Subject: Re: [ExI] Watson on NOVA

Kelly Anderson wrote:
>> ... While I am clearly jazzed about Watson, and I do know for sure now
that Watson uses statistical learning algorithms...

>...I strongly suspected that it was using some kind of statistical
"proximity" algorithms to get the answers.  And in that case, we are talking
about zero advancement of AI... can you see what I mean when I say that this
is a complete waste of time?...Richard Loosemore

Richard I see what you mean, but I disagree.  We know Watson isn't AI, and
this path doesn't lead there directly.  But there is value in collecting a
bunch of capabilities that are in themselves marketable.  Computers play
good chess, they play Jeopardy, they do this and that, eventually they make
suitable (even if not ideal) companions for impaired humans, which generates
money (lots of it in that case), which brings talent into the field,
inspires the young to dream that AI can somehow be accomplished.  It
inspires the young brains to imagine the potential of software, as opposed
to wasting their lives and talent by going into politics or hedge fund
management for instance.  

For every AI researcher we lose to fooling around with Watson, we gain ten
more who are inspired by that non-AI exercise.

In that sense Watson may indirectly advance AI.


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