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Old 04-12-2014, 07:03 PM
 
15,924 posts, read 17,652,520 times
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IBM’s Watson supercomputer defeated two top Jeopardy! players last year, but for the clue “What grasshoppers eat,” Watson answered: “Kosher.” For all the data he could access within a fraction of a second—one of the greatest corpuses ever assembled—Watson looked awfully dumb.
This is an understatement, of course some people will say when humans merge with computers blah blah blah....

n+1: The Stupidity of Computers
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:16 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,546 posts, read 55,469,830 times
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The author left out a lot, in support of his saccharine conclusion.

"IBM’s Watson supercomputer defeated two top Jeopardy! players last year, but for the clue “What grasshoppers eat,” Watson answered: “Kosher.” For all the data he could access within a fraction of a second—one of the greatest corpuses ever assembled—Watson looked awfully dumb."

The hyphenated interjection and sentence inversion and awkward use of corpuses instead of corpora distract from the fact that the answer was a rare wrong answer in a stunning defeat by Watson.

Notably, the author also did not mention the documented self-teaching (admittedly on a small scale) of rules in neural net experiments.

If you compare computer response to human response, there are a couple of obvious differences.

1. Each individual human has a set of beliefs and facts that is used to verify or dismiss any that would gain entrance to the group. Syntax becomes more automatic with this pre-existing construct, as the range of possible comparisons are drastically reduced.

This idea can be verified by asking the same question to humans of different development levels and from different cultures. Ask a child "What color is the sky?" and you can expect an answer of "Blue." That answer becomes a default answer and is just stored away for future use. Take away any immediate way of seeing the sky and ask the question again and you will get the same response, even as the child grows older and amasses more experience and data.

However, at a certain level of development, the same child may have dis-engaged the certainty of that response or learned to qualify it with "The earth's atmosphere is most often considered to be blue because of spectral absorption or transmission of light from the sun." This causes no end of irritation to people who want simple rote answers and to people who do not want to think. However, finer and finer differentiation of concepts is a requirement of advanced education.

In point of fact, during sunsets and sunrises I have seen gorgeous skies full of pinks and lavenders and reds and oranges. I have seen green skies presaging tornadoes. I have seen skies in Florida brown from the dust blown over from Africa. I have seen the grey pollution of skies in industrial cities. I have seen a sickly yellow smog come creeping on cat feet.

We make allowances for a child with limited awareness but a rigid structure. Computer responses do not have that built-in structure that humans affect (incorrect as the human structure might be)

2. Humans have ego, or a sense of personhood. Anything that attempts to diminish the personhood will be attacked or dismissed as irrelevant. The perfect example is the article itself. The author is defending his own place in the universe and spending much time and effort on the task. A computer does not (yet) care if it exists or doesn't, and holds no beliefs sacred other than some basic math functions that are hard-coded. Couple that with a diminished or absent emotional component or lack of subtle inflection or sub-text and responses become even more different.
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