Last year I got into a show called are you smarter than a fifth grader. Jeff Foxworthy, world renowned comedian and blue collar Comic, gets some poor sap from out of his studio audience and pits them against a Lisa Simpson or Jimmy Newtron.
Now take Jeopardy, a Trivia program with a history of asking hard questions about topics that no one would keep in working memory. Jeopardy has teamed up with IBM to have the IBM challenge. This will be a three day face off between Watson (IBM’s artificially intelligent supercomputer), Ken Jennings (76 time champion and current world record game show winnings holder), and Brad Rutter (Record Winner in the tournament of champions and holder of the number two slot for world winnings in game show history).
Doesn’t this idea sound like Lisa Simpson and Jimmy Newtron got together and had a brain child?
Well on Jan 15, 2011, Watson had a practice round against the raining champions and wiped the floor with them. The human contestants barely got a chance to answer questions and as one would expect, Watson got to virtually rub their noses all up in his computer altered memory. I heard one technology reporter mention that it was as if Watson just “pissed all over the competition.”
So are we smarter than a computer? The answer is yes and no. Yes in that we built the damned things. We are the ones who design the software, the learning logic, algorithms, and the processing input sources for them. The no comes in that we did it too well. I predict that computers will be taking over the world by 2025, and humans will just be kept around as amusements for our technological masters.
Hmmm, guess who’ll be watching the matrix tonight.