June 29, 2010

Humans versus Machines

Very interesting. Watson, come here I have a question.

Jonah Lehrer notes Watson's flaws. The computer is slow on the buzzer:

Those players on Jeopardy are able to ring the buzzer before they can actually articulate the answer. All they have is a feeling, and that feeling is enough. These feelings of knowing illustrate the power of our emotions. The first thing to note is that these feelings are often extremely accurate...The second important feature of these feelings of knowing is their speed. As Thompson makes clear, it's the speed of these inexplicable hunches that allow the human contestants to defeat Watson...

The larger point is that we won't get a genuinely "human" version of artificial intelligence (not to mention more energy efficient computers) until our computers start to run emotion-like algorithms.

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