[ExI] Watson On Jeopardy

spike spike66 at att.net
Wed Feb 16 18:15:33 UTC 2011

>... On Behalf Of Richard Loosemore

>...(the comments of the Watson team certainly imply that this is a major
milestone in AI...

Well sure, they have been working on this for years, now it come out taking
on humans and whooping ass.  I can scarcely fault them for a bit of

>... and the press are practically announcing this as the second coming).

Ja, and of course the press needs to whip up excitement, otherwise their
products don't sell and they no longer have a job.  Now, who would hire a
former journalist?  We couldn't trust them at the local elementary school,
and McDonald's won't hire them; they don't speak the language.

But there is something else that really makes this exciting, for we
recognize that if a computer can play Jeopardy, it can be modified into
being a general conversationalist.  

Many of us have or had an Alzheimer's family member.  From firsthand
experience, we know how frustrating that can be.  The patient repeats
herself over and over, pretty soon no one wants to talk to the patient.  The
patient feels everyone is angry with her, and often reacts with anger.  Most
of the time the patient is just bored and lonely, even in a crowded house.
She perhaps can no longer read, cannot go out on walks alone, family members
don't sit and visit.  I think we will be able to modify something like a
very limited version of Watson, get him running on a PC, rig up some kind of
Bluetooth speech recognition system and we have something that a whole lot
of people would pay five digits to have.  No sexbots, no tricky mechanical
devices, just a good competent yakbot, to keep our aging parent company.

>  I am just trying to inject a dose of sanity.  And failing...Richard

Richard you are not failing, we hear ya loud and clear.  But you are
searching for general AI, whereas I and perhaps others here have a far more
modest and immediate need, which we recognize has nothing to do with AI.
Yes we may lure away a few of your brightest students, but keep in mind they
have to pay the rent too.  Furthermore, plenty of those students have
grandparents whose minds are wasting away, lonely and bored, grandparents
who need our help NOW and who richly deserve it.

In the long run, this will bring excitement and money into the field,
attracting many able minds to AI research than are drawn away into
Watson-ish exercises.  Everyone wins.  

Work with us.  You are among friends here. 


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