Colin McEnroe Show: Is Watson The Harbinger Of An A.I. Armageddon?

Feb 15, 2011

You are surrounded by Artificial Intelligence. It's in your smartphone, in your DVR, probably even in your refrigerator.  

There's something called the AI Effect, which refers to to the way we quickly incorporate the latest advance into our understanding of what the world is. A talking navigation system, for example, changed status from a wild futuristic imagining to a humdrum standard feature in just a few years. The joke among researchers is that AI means anything that hasn't been done yet.  We just keep moving the goal posts and saying "Well, maybe it can solve the tricky clues on Jeopardy, but that's not real intelligence."  But what is real intelligence? Machines tend to lag behind in odd areas, like spatial orientation, small talk and object recognition. Watson may win the Jeopardy prize, but it wouldn't be able to go out for a beer with afterwards.  Or would it? Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.