Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How about a nice game of chess?


No, I want to play thermo-nuclear war.

Day 1 of the
newest pop-culture AI experiment: Man vs. Machine on 'Jepoardy!'

Didn't I already do this in my friend's basement in 1989? I didn't have Nintendo, but my friend did, and we use to play for hours.

Anyhoo, the whole thing was a bit of a snooze-fest. Watson, the IBM supercomputer, tied with one of the super-champs, Brad Rutter, for $5000. Watson's not a real supercomputer, but a series of ten networked servers, and this commentator wonders why the super-cham
ps couldn't have access to other brains, like in "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?" Watson made some boneheaded mistakes, blurting out bizarre answers just like the human contestants do.

But here's the thing: Would it really be news to anyone if a machine with thousands of terabytes of RAM could answer trivia questions faster than a person? It just doesn't seem that exciting, especially since my PC usually answers questions faster than I can. But here's an idea: a computer that can play multiple people in poker.

In the meantime...the earliest programmable machine? Probably
the Antikythera Mechanism, an astronomical calculator built over a century before the birth of Jesus.

2 comments:

JesseG said...

Really? I agree that the access to the information was not that striking, but the language comprehension was pretty cool.

e.g. in "The Beatles" category:

"This Eleanor was not the wife of Franklin."

Who is Rigby?

I think it's pretty amazing for a computer to 'understand' enough to ask the right question.

backgammon said...

There are actually programs that could play multiple people on poker. They are commonly referred to as pokerbots or just simply bots.