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Watson Rules! Or; A Computer Learns to Decode Natural Language

Anne Dalke's picture

A really interesting example and test case for our discussion, today, about what information is, was provided by tonight's Jeopardy. If you have been living in a cave, be sure to check out

On ‘Jeopardy!’, Computer Win Is All but Trivial
 

A Fight to Win the Future: Computers vs. Humans (which describes the smart phone as an "information concierge," and concludes w/ this great quote from the computer scientist John Seely Brown: “The essence of being human involves asking questions, not answering them").

What is I.B.M's Watson? is the best and fullest account of the "deep challenge of artificial intelligence": "a lot of human knowledge isn’t represented in words alone, and a computer won’t learn that stuff just by encoding English language texts....What makes language so hard for computers...is that it’s full of 'intended meaning.' When people decode what someone else is saying, we can unpack the many nuanced allusions and connotations...."
 

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