[ExI] Watson on NOVA

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Mon Feb 14 19:17:02 UTC 2011

On 02/13/2011 09:29 PM, Kelly Anderson wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 2:28 AM, BillK<pharos at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 8:58 AM, Kelly Anderson  wrote:
>> IBM PR makes big claims for Watson (but that's their job  :)  ).
>> <http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/27297.wss>
>> Quote:
>> Watson's ability to understand the meaning and context of human
>> language, and rapidly process information to find precise answers to
>> complex questions, holds enormous potential to transform how computers
>> help people accomplish tasks in business and their personal lives.
>> Watson will enable people to rapidly find specific answers to complex
>> questions. The technology could be applied in areas such as
>> healthcare, for accurately diagnosing patients, to improve online
>> self-service help desks, to provide tourists and citizens with
>> specific information regarding cities, prompt customer support via
>> phone, and much more.
> I have absolutely no doubt that Watson-like systems can do this. As a
> research assistant to a doctor, Watson would be invaluable. It is, in
> fact, a new kind of search engine with a little more intelligence than
> a Google type system. And while Google is not an AI, sometimes it
> feels like it is. Watson isn't a general AI, but it will feel like it
> is at least some of the time.
> Honestly, I can't wait to watch Jeopardy tomorrow.
>> -------------------------
>> This article talks about what the developers are working on:
>> <http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ibm-announces-eight-universities-contributing-to-the-watson-computing-systems-development-115892914.html>
>> Looks like they are doing some pretty complex stuff in there.
> No doubt. One clarification on this deal. While it doesn't appear that
> Watson does much sophisticated natural language processing of the text
> in its index, it does appear to do very sophisticated NLP of the
> questions and categories.

How much sophistication does it need to prune its search of its jeopardy 
database?  Not all that much.  It is not doing any sort of general 
modelling of the speaker's mind, any sort of concept formation, taking 
note of any but the fixed context of jeopardy and fixed question 
categories.  So how does one leap to general wonderful NLP capabilities 
and being a good basis for creating a doctor's assistant?

- s

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