Home > Science > One step closer to HAL ?

One step closer to HAL ?


The singularity ( a rapid advancement in artificial intelligence ) has been predicted for awhile now. Science fiction fans like myself are looking forward to the day ( although perhaps with a tinge of nervousness ) when a real life HAL 9000 makes its debut. Well , an announcement today brings renewed excitement.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/magazine/20Computer-t.html

Forget the current buzzwords floating around in the world of IT. If this is what IBM claims it is, then human beings have made a significant step forward in terms of creating AI. You can even challenge the machine at a game of jeoperdy here :

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/06/16/magazine/watson-trivia-game.html

although we don’t know for sure if the flash application is actually hooked up to the "Watson" machine, it could just be marketing. The best thing on this second page is the video which you should probably watch. According to what we see there , by running concurrent algorithms , the machine is closer to "understanding" a question posed to it , and doesn’t simply do matches on the question text. In any case , I’ll be keeping a close eye on what could be the real HAL’s grandfather. Lets hope IBM writes in some code that makes him unopposed to opening pod bay doors !! 

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Categories: Science
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