You've probably heard about Watson, IBM's latest smarter-than-you supercomputer. This week it competed against champions on Jeopardy--and won.
Thankfully, Watson is not self-aware (yet), because we all know that once computers become self-aware one of the first things they do is try to wipe out humans, or even humanity itself. If my name was Sarah Connor I'd be nervous right about now.
But that lack of self-awareness doesn't mean Watson can't think for itself, or even speak for itself. In fact, right now you can (sort of) ask Watson questions online on this Reddit thread. It's part of Reddit's popular "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) feature, and while users are encouraged to ask anything, there's no guarantee you'll get a response.
Well, it's not actually Watson that's doing the answering, but the research team that created it, and that's because they don't yet know how to have him do it. That man-machine divide, by the way, is what we'll be addressing on tomorrow's Reporters' Roundtable podcast at noon PT. The topic will be "robobrain vs. humanity."
Still, it's still great that the scienticians who put together such an impressive machine are opening their minds to the public.… Read more