Subjective Objectivity – The Blog of The Reasonable Man

February 6, 2011

Dispatches from the Robot Apocalypse – Part X

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikeshotgun @ 3:44 pm

From today’s Observer, we’re gifted an insight into the next nefarious plan of The Machines. They want to take our game shows. Watch as Watson, schools a couple of trivia nerds at Jeopardy:

Crucially, according to IBM whizz David Gondek, Watson has the ability to learn, and so engineers have been feeding it with tens of thousands of books’ worth of information. “Just like the other contestants, Watson has been studying up,” said Gondek last month. He didn’t mention whether Watson had yet been exposed to military textbooks, or karate manuals – but the machine had been let loose on reams of information culled from the internet, especially to analyse human interaction and better learn how people speak. 

Because of its size Watson currently resides behind thick glass at IBM’s New York HQ, but the company is looking forward to a day when miniature Watsons will be commercially available. Future iterations, says Gondek, will be “smaller, use less energy… Everyone could have one.” The humanitarian ideal – and ask any sci-fi writer, there’s always a humanitarian ideal – is that the machine will one day be canny enough to aid busy doctors by diagnosing patients and assessing x-rays. No word about potential jobs at the Pentagon.

We have met our new ruling class, people.

Cross-posted at Something Quotable


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