[ExI] Watson on NOVA

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Mon Feb 14 06:06:46 UTC 2011

On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 9:39 AM, Richard Loosemore <rpwl at lightlink.com> wrote:
> Sadly, this only confirms the deeply skeptical response that I gave earlier.
> 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.
> Back in 1991 I remember having discussions about that kind of research with
> someone who thought it was fabulous.  I argued that it was a dead end.
> If people are still using it to do exactly the same kinds of task they did
> then, can you see what I mean when I say that this is a complete waste of
> time?  It is even worse than I suspected.

For me the question is whether this is useful, not whether it will lead to AGI.

Is Watson useful? I would say yes, it is very close to being something useful.

Is it on the path to AGI? That's about as relevant as whether we
descend directly from gracile australopithecines or robust
australopithecinesthe. Yes, that's an interesting question, but you
need the competition to see what works out in the end. The evolution
of computer algorithms will show that Watson or your stuff or reverse
engineering the human brain or something else eventually leads to the
answer. Criticizing IBM because you think they are working down the
Neanderthal line is irrelevant to the evolutionary and memetic

Honestly Richard, you come across as a mad scientist; that is, an
angry scientist. All approaches should be equally welcome until one
actually works. And saying that they should have spent the money
different is like saying we shouldn't save the $1 million preemie in
Boston because that money could have been used to cure blindness in
10,000 Africans. Well, that's true, but the insurance company paying
the bill doesn't have any right to cure blindness in Africa with their
subscriber's money. IBM has a fiduciary responsibility to the
shareholders, and Watson will earn them money if they do it right.


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