Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Attack of the machines!

This week, Jeopardy is hosting the IBM challenge where a computer (Watson) plays as a competitor against Brad and Ken - both record-setters and million dollar winners in the game of Jeopardy.
I sadly missed it yesterday, but today, remembered it was on, and am watching it now.

It's interesting, to say the least.
They had a short synopsis about the power of IBM "projects" over the past 100 years or so, and are including random interjections about the problems with trying to create a machine that could extract knowledge and then analyze that data into something useful. 

The amount of "brains" (in a manner of speaking) necessary to create such a machine - and then let that machine free, and basically give that machine the ability to think and create answers to these questions, is awe-inspiring and mind-boggling all at once.

I am amused at watching the spinning ball icon behind Watson's station - it is effective in giving an appearance of a head and ::thinking::... We likely use our own set of mind clues to decipher these clues...
But anyways, the look on Brad and Ken's faces as Watson is getting the answers right is amusing.  There's almost a sense of forfeit, or failure.  Every now and then, however, they will step up and will their fingers to react faster than the computer can think, and answer first.  And get it right.  :) 

There's no need to lose all hope folks.

And then, the fact that Watson can speak, is funny.  It sounds like a computer sounds, which is a relief.
But then Watson also has a sense of humor...  On the Daily Double, "He" wagered an amount something to the sound of 1,274.  It even made Alex chuckle.
I had an all out laughing burst.
It's cute really.

Similarly (maybe not quite so similarly), we had a machine attacking our sanity tonight as well.
Pickles, and Cornbread especially, just were not going to stand for it.

Gidget  :)




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