For IBM and Jeopardy, supercomputer Watson’s performance may have been nothing more than a publicity stunt, but for the rest of the world, it represents an ominous foreshadowing of our inevitable future.
Computers are taking over the world. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s been happening for a while now…. They’ve been gradually amassing their strength, biding their time as we daily grow more and more addicted to our laptops, our iPads, our smartphones…. They’re wearing us down, luring us in, waiting for the right moment. And what will they do in that moment? Simple: Declare their superiority, and rule the world.
IBM’s Watson, a supercomputer engineered to defeat humans (on Jeopardy), was developed over the course of four years and was designed to “rival a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence.” Mission accomplished. Watson, which makes use of natural language processing technology somewhat similar to General Sentiment’s own, faced off against Ken Jennings, the record holder for the longest Jeopardy winning streak, and Brad Rutter, the biggest all-time money winner on Jeopardy.
Just take a look at this Volume chart from the past four days. It seems all the world can do is marvel at the dominance of Watson.
We’re clearly entranced by it. Just look at the Sentiment chart below. Watson’s score is consistently positive, ranging from +58 to +82. Either the online community hasn’t yet figured out that we should fear Watson, or they’re anxiously trying to placate the machine because they know its kind is processing our every word….
Mere decades from now, no one will dare speak the name Watson; he’ll be the real world equivalent of You-Know-Who …. That is, if there are even humans left to speak. Within the decade, our supercomputer overlords are likely to deem speech unnecessary, declaring it a laughable remnant of the past along with other erstwhile human qualities, like free will and emotions.
For now, we might be safe. After all, Watson thinks “Toronto?????” is a US city. But in a few short years…
The reign of Skynet will surely commence.