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Old 02-14-2011, 03:36 PM   #4
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Re: Computer Learns Trivia or Birth of the Matrix?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AkamaruChewtoy View Post
Anyway, essentially it is a computer with programming that takes in information and then, while focusing on key words, searches the net to come up with the correct answer. Surprisingly, the fact that the answer is a question doesn't bother it. Huh. Makers were trying to get under a 3 second response time, and feel they have done so. And that's my base understanding. I think Mal or Axiom might have more to say on this because it is encroaching AI territory.
This is more than simply encroaching on AI territory, it's the first real combination of two major aspects of AI: Natural Language Understanding and Expert Systems.

An Expert System is essentially a coded database of information with a user interface and an "intelligent" search algorithm. They have traditionally been designed for highly specific and specialized purposes, and have required manual encoding of all data. Watson changes this by incorporating Natural Language Understanding, which is exactly what it sounds like: the computer's ability to "read" text and interpret the meaning of words, phrases and sentences.

From my understanding, Watson doesn't search the web for its information on the fly. Instead, it can be connected to any database of information (including the web) and begin "learning" by constructing its own database of highly interconnected information.

Building a usable database alone is a great feat, and utilizing it in a reasonable time is just as difficult. Given the absolutely staggering amount of data required to be searched, conventional non-intelligent search algorithms could take hundreds or even thousands of years to answer even the most basic questions.

Unless there is something IBM is not telling us, it is not possible for Watson to become self-aware.
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