[ExI] Watson On Jeopardy.

Richard Loosemore rpwl at lightlink.com
Fri Feb 18 18:01:53 UTC 2011

Kelly Anderson wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 6:33 AM, Richard Loosemore <rpwl at lightlink.com> wrote:
>> Kelly Anderson wrote:
>>> On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 5:46 AM, Richard Loosemore <rpwl at lightlink.com> wrote
>> You've misunderstood so very much of what is really going on here.
> It wouldn't be the first time. I'm here to learn. If you have
> something to teach, I am your humble student. I am quite sincere in
> this. No kidding.

This is good.  I am happy to try.  Don't interpret the post I just wrote 
as being too annoyed (just a *little* frustrated is all).  ;-)

>> There are strong theoretical reasons to believe that this approach is the only one that will
>> work, and that the "practitioners of "parlor tricks"" will never actually be able to succeed.  This
>> isn't just opinion or speculation, it is the result of a real theoretical analysis.
> Risking Clintonese... I suppose Richard, that this depends upon your
> definition of 'success'. I would guess that most people would declare
> that Watson already succeeded. You dismiss it as "trivial" and a
> "parlor trick", while 99% of everyone else thinks it is a great
> success already.  If there is derision, I think it is because of your
> dismissive attitude about what is clearly a great milestone in
> computation, even if it turns out not to be on the path to some "true"
> AGI. I, for one, think that with another ten years or so of work, the
> Watson approach might pass some version of the Turing test.
> If you wrote a paper entitled "Why Watson is an Evolutionary Dead
> End", and you were convincing to your peers, I think you would get it
> published and it would be helpful to the AI community.

Well, can I point out that the numbers are not 99% in favor?  Ben 
Goertzel just published an essay in H+ magazine saying very much the 
same things that I said here.  Ben is very widely respected in the AGI 
community, so perhaps you would consider comparing and constrasting my 
remarks with his.

I don't want to write about Watson, because I have seen so many examples 
of that kind of dead end and I have already analzed them as a *class* of 
systems.  That is very important.  They cannot be fought individually. 
I am pointng to the pattern.

>> Also, why do you say "self-described scientist"?  I don't understand if this is supposed to be
>> me or someone else or scientists in general.
> Carl Sagan, a real scientist, said frequently, "Extraordinary claims
> require extraordinary evidence." (even though he may have borrowed the
> phrase from Marcello Truzzi.) I understand that you are claiming to
> follow the scientific method, and that you do not think of yourself as
> a philosopher. If you claim to be a philosopher, stand up and be proud
> of that. Some of the most interesting people are philosophers, and
> there is nothing wrong with that.

:-)  Well, you may be confused by the fact that I wrote ONE philosophy 

But have a look through the very small set of publications on my 
website.  One experimental archaeology, several experimental and 
computational cognitive science papers.  One cognitive neuroscience 

I was trained as a physicist and mathematician.  I just finished 
teaching a class in electromagnetic theory this morning.  I have written 
  all those cognitive science papers.  I was once on a team that ported 
CorelDraw from the PC to the Mac.   I am up to my eyeballs in writing a 
software tool in OS X that is designed to facilitate the construction 
and experimental investigation of a class of AGI systems that have never 
been built before.....    Isn't it a bit of a stretch to ask me to be 
proud to be a philosopher? :-) :-)

>> And why do you assume that I am not doing experiments?!  I am certainly doing that, and
>> doing masive numbers of such experiments is at the core of everything I do.
> Good to hear. Your papers did not reflect that. Can you point me to
> some of your experimental results?

No, but I did not say that they did.  It is too early to ask.

Context.  Physicists back in the 1980s who wanted to work on the 
frontiers of particle physics had to spend decades just building one 
tool - the large hadron collider - to answer their theoretical questions 
with empirical data.  I am in a comparable situation, but with one 
billionth the funding that they had.  Do I get cut a *little* slack? :-(

More when I can.

Richard Loosemore

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