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The Watson super computer...Skynet?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Inspector Hammer!, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Has anyone been reading about this? It's currently playing contestants on Jeopardy but the future of this thing actually sort of scares me a little...

    http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/02/15/6061217-beyond-jeopardy-watson-wins

    I know I know, I've seen The Terminator too many times but come on there's no denying the similarities, read that article and tell me it doesn't sound exactly like the beginning of something Skynet-like, indeed the blind optimism expressed in that article reminds me a lot of the way Miles Dyson talked about it in T2.

    Yes, I'm asking seriously, could a situation like the one depicted in those films happen (minus time travel and Endoskeletons of course) if a computer similar to Skynet is created and we turn too much control over to it?

    I don't know, maybe it's the Sarah Connor in me talking but I think they need to destroy that thing.
     
  2. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I was reassured when they said it wouldn't be connected to the Internet. :)
     
  3. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    When a computer can create brand new complex algorithms to solve new problems it faces I will take notice. Currently, these things are just operating off more and more complex and better written (by humans) code. These computers are able to learn and provide answers not predicted by their creators for sure, but they are still just doing what their creators programmed them to do.

    But, if we want to be outlandish, we could imagine a world where Stuxnet invades a computer such as Watson. :)
     
  4. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I wish it had led off on Jeopardy with, "Greetings, Professor Falken Shall we play a game? Just kidding!"
     
  5. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    It was definitely interesting when it answered incorrectly. Obviously Harry Potter is not its forté. :)
     
  6. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    It's quite silly to advocate its destruction. Nowhere in the article is there even a hint of turning over "control" to computers. You should know by now that movie fantasies depicting such things (as well as many others) are exactly that--fantasies.
     
  7. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Yes well some fantasies often come very close to becoming a reality, look at Stanley Kubrick, he called more than a few of the things we have now in a movie that's 42 years-old, same with Star Trek, we now have cell phones and Bluetooth which are essentially communicators and we also have Enterprise Bridge-style flat screens that hang on our walls.

    It's entirely within the realm of possibility that a super computer could impact us negatively in some form or another if developed to it's full potential which none of us can say for sure where it's limitations are at this point.

    I tend to think that we are often so golly-gee fascinated by advancing technology that we can't see when it's perhaps time to stop, just my opinion.
     
  8. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    So...has anyone watched the show? Last part is tonight. Watson is in the lead with like $34,000. The piddly humans haven't even cracked $10,000. :)
     
  9. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I've watched it. I watch J! every day anyway. I don't really like the format, but I guess they know people wouldn't tune in for a Watson explanation show with no game. Was funny when Watson picked odd sums for his Daily Double bets.
     
  10. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    "Yes well some fantasies often come very close to becoming a reality, look at Stanley Kubrick, he called more than a few of the things we have now in a movie that's 42 years-old, same with Star Trek, we now have cell phones and Bluetooth which are essentially communicators and we also have Enterprise Bridge-style flat screens that hang on our walls."

    I tend to believe that has more to do with the science and tech advisors those directors utilized than anything else. But interesting nevertheless.
     
  11. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Missed Monday night, viewed last night and plan to watch again tonight. The performance was fairly impressive. Along with the audience members who applauded Watson's performance; I welcome the first emissary from our future robotic overlords.

    On a slightly more serious note, I expect some grand things from our advances in computing.

    - Walter.
     
  12. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    The fantasy part isn't the advanced technology; What's fantasy is the idea that

    a. A supercomputer must develop a malevolent consciousness by "accident".

    b. Humans would give such a computer physical control over themselves, or the computer could "grab" physical control via the Internet or the phone system.

    c. Humans couldn't simply turn off such a computer if they chose to.

    It's similar to the Y2K hysteria. I distinctly remember people claiming planes would fall out of the sky, cars would stop running, etc., which was, of course, nonsense. One can always think of drawbacks to technology, but there's nothing even remotely threatening about AI research.
     
  13. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Well I guess I have my answer, they can make a computer as smart as they like as long as they install a switch to turn the damn thing off lol.
     
  14. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I don't know why Jennings didn't wager more than $1K, but I guess his confidence in 19th Century authors wasn't very high. And I guess there was no hope of him winning the whole thing anyway.
     
  15. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Did they ever explain how Watson determined his wagers for the Doubles and Final? There must have been a reason why he kept giving such odd amounts. I also don't understand why he only wagered $947 on something as simple as "US Cities" (though he then apparently wasn't aware that Toronto was in Canada), then several thousand on "19th Century Authors."
     
  16. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    No details about its wagering rationale, but this an interesting article: http://arstechnica.com/media/news/2011/02/creators-watson-has-no-speed-advantage-as-it-crushes-humans-in-jeopardy.ars
     
  17. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    I'll wager 400 Quatloos on the newcomer!
     
  18. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    Here's an article on Watson's wagering strategy.
     
  19. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    I have to admit, watching the robot mind sweep up the feeble meat brains was exhilarating television! It'd be cool to see another one of these in a few years to see if they can further refine it's understanding so it isn't so crap at art questions (IBM programmers don't seem to know anything about art ha ha). Sadly, they're going to waste it by letting it loose in the medical industry to help with diagnosing patients. Plah! :P
     
  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Jeopardy-playing computer Watson: (yawn) I've got "Siri". IBM spends its fortunes & man-years creating 1960s-esque, house-filling computer for the useless task of playing a specialized game show. But for a year, I've had an app on my *phone* that "understands" natural language and does useful things like finding restaurants. While IBM's doing expensive tech demos, other people are making amazing tools for daily life.
     

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