Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jeopardy: IBM’s Watson Is Skynet!


The Terminator [Blu-ray]This week on the game show Jeopardy, a super computer will face off against human opponents in a game of wits. Watson is the name IBM gave the computer/program, the technological abomination that will no doubt end all human life as we not, that will be facing the inferior “people” on Jeopardy.  As it was described by game show host Alex Trebek, Watson is IBM’s latest attempt to replace the human race with mindless automatons; at least that’s what I took away from the long time Jeopardy host’s explanation of this technological wonder. Encased in its glass cage, Watson is essentially a shit load of computer servers strung together on a high speed network, through this computing powerhouse Watson thinks, in a manner similar to a process of elimination.  

Terminator 2: Judgment DayNow, no one is saying IBM is an evil organization for making a computer system that will eventually kill us all. The people behind the project most likely had the best intentions when creating Watson, but here is the thing. It was interesting when IBM made Deep Blue, the chess playing computer that essentially ended all aspirations of budding chess players who wanted to be the best in the world. Forget that dream geeks get your jollies playing World of Warcraft instead.  And it’s even more interesting now that IBM has made Watson, a computer system that has been able to hold its own against some of the greatest champions Jeopardy has to offer. But will it be interesting when Watson is asked, during a Jeopardy match: What is the next evolution of humanity? And Watson answers: ME! They keep that thing in a building full of computers! What it he starts to spread like a virus? Watson will be answering all of the world’s trivia questions? It will start with him just ruining every game of Trivial Pursuit and Seen It match from now until the end of time but will it end with that?  

Terminator Salvation (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray]Now, no one is saying that Watson is going to replace humanity’s ability for associative thinking. What is more likely is that Watson will just replace us all together with cybernetic life forms that look remarkably similar to a certain former Governor of California! IBM is making Skynet and they know it! Where is John Conner when you need him, huh? Is he even born yet? So many questions, if there was only a machine that could answers them for me… wait!