Thursday, February 17, 2011

Watson is stupid

The IBM computer Watson is much in the news because it won on Jeopardy. Now all the talk is about how smart and intelligent it is. Actually, folks, Watson is stupid. It has no intelligence whatsoever. It is very good at computing but this is because it is a computer, not a brain.
What's the difference?
Well, to start with, I am sure you know some people you would call intelligent but would never call smart.
See, you just thought of someone who fits the bill.
Do you remember the Star Trek episode - THE RETURN OF THE ACORNS - where Kirk defeats a superior computer by finding a bug in its program that had gone unnoticed for hundreds of years. As with all superior computers, as soon as its program enters an infinite loop, it immediately starts smoking and shooting off sparks until it explodes.
But on a more basic level of intelligence, is there any computer smart enough to escape a burning building on its own?
The same can be said of smart phones which aren't even as intelligent as Watson.
So let's cut the nonsense and stop calling cell phones and computers as something that is smart. They are dumber than a worm that at least has enough sense to go above ground when rain threatens to drown it in its hole.

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