Thursday, February 24, 2011

Watson Is No Match for Humanity

"moral of the story being that computers are not "intellige­­nt" and never will be."

Quotes about how some scientific achievemen­t will never happen have a way of turning out to be wrong.

When I first started programmin­g there were many serious philosophe­rs who claimed that a computer would never be able to play chess. Then they claimed it would never be able to play at the Grand Master level which of course it has.

I'm not sure how you define "intellige­nce" but it seems to me it should include things like playing jeopardy or chess. Or perhaps flying an airplance. Or making a medical diagnosis. Computers have been doing all those things for years.

I do strongly agree with you that all the talk about Watson as Skynet or HAL are nonsense. While Watson is an amazing AI achievemen­t and IMO clearly "intellige­nt" its not even close to being conscious or self aware.

However, I don't think any responsibl­e scientist should say we know for a fact that a computer can NEVER be conscious for one simple reason: we don't have an accepted scientific definition for what it means for HUMANS to be conscious yet. Until we do we can hardly say for sure whether computers can or can't be. And that is why I find work like Watson ultimately so fascinatin­g, it gives us insight into what intelligen­ce and thought are that may help us understand how those things work for humans.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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