Is Watson the most advanced super computer in existence?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by DarthTom, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    99% of the human population can't sort 10,000 files into alphabetical order in less than a second either, at least by hand.

    Computers can. That doesn't mean they're intelligent, it just means someone figured out a fast algorithm to accomplish that task.

    Even that will come in a matter of years, decades at most. Visual recognition is a solvable problem with enough math and computing power.

    Machine self-awareness is an entirely different category. It's not clear whether that will ever be possible at this point.
     
  2. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I don't want to sound like I'm undermining your point here, because I generally agree with it. However, there is an application of problem solving in interpreting the questions (I mean answers) posed by Alex, in order to come up with the correct response. The "answers" Alex gives often involve some kind of pun, or other word play or loose association. Interpreting the word play correctly can often point the way to making an educated guess, when you don't know the correct response (something that Watson seemed to fail miserably at). In that way, at least, playing Jeopardy well does involve some application of intelligence.
     
  3. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's not impossible, sure. But a computer the size of a human head being able to do visual recognition tasks as good as the average human, that's a long time away. While the tiniest pocket calculator can perform calculations can outperform any human.

    As said above, Watson might be a cool thing, but it also takes 750 servers. A huge space is currently needed for that. Of course this will change, no doubt about that.
     
  4. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I thought the NSA has made great strides in facial recognition software that can scan crowds for terror suspects which also concerns privacy rights advocates?

    Facial Recognition software NSA is working on
     
  5. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, but a human can still absolutely outperform this. If you know the target, you can pick it out of a crowd with ease. And can do so much more than just recognize faces at the same time.

    The current advantage here is automization. You don't need humans who get tired watching computer monitors.
     
  6. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Face detection is coming along, and face recognition is just a standard machine learning problem once you've detected the face.

    The ability to recognize specific *types* of things is eminently doable with enough training data. The ability to generalize that to recognizing anything you've seen before, or figure out the purpose of something you haven't seen before, is still a bit beyond current technology.
     
  7. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I did some addtional reserach and Watson isn't the most advanced computer but he's up there. I had never heard of this system but Univeristy of Illinois tested 'Concept Net 4' developed by MIT. They found it has the intelliegence of a 4 year old.


    Google is also apparently using a Quantum Computer for AI like modeling:

     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  8. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There also seems to be a bit of confusion between computers and software. Watson is not a super computer. It's a piece of software, running on a server farm. And that farm isn't even that big.

    Here's a list of actual supercomputers as of November 2013.

    http://www.top500.org/lists/2013/11/
     
  9. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Yes. Do you? :p

    It's not that you are not particularly knowledgeable about computing. It's a pretty obscure field. It's that you don't seem to be reading what people are saying here.

    QED.

    I have access to #15. :devil:
     
  10. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks, Bender.
     
  11. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There are computers that can beat the best human players at chess. That doesn't mean the computer is intelligent. It's just capable of calculating the outcomes of thousands of possible sequences of moves really, really fast.
     
  12. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    Watson is open source and on the cloud now:

    http://www.kurzweilai.net/ibm-to-take-watson-to-the-cloud-opens-to-app-developers

    November 14, 2013

    [​IMG]

    A hypothetical Watson medical health app (credit: IBM)

    IBM announced today that it will make its IBM Watson technology available to developers in the cloud so they can build apps using Watson.
    IBM will be launching the IBM Watson Developers Cloud, a cloud-hosted marketplace for resources including a developer toolkit, educational materials, and access to Watson’s application programming interface (API).
     
  13. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "Asking whether a computer can think is like asking if a submarine can swim." — Edsger W. Dijkstra

    We're always going to find ways to think ourselves superior. Let's hope the machines don't do likewise.
     
  14. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's very cool. I wonder if it will ever become as ubiquitous as Siri?

    I think they should place Watson software in public libraries. It may generate interest in school children visiting libraries again.
     
  15. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    tch. Any guy can Jeopardy good. Can you add a jillion plus a jillion? Can't explain that!
     
  16. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    my appologies if I make a point that perhaps was already mentioned. I must admit I didn't read the whole thread since I have a pretty bad cold and it's getting close to bedtime over here.

    What I would like to add to the discussion is:

    Can a computer ever excel human intelligence? (Cynicists may ask: is there any such thing at all but let's leave that aside atm, please)

    There's an old IT proverb "a computer is always as smart as two people: its programmer and its user."
    That would imply that a computer can not be smarter than his programmer.
    Or could it? In that case the programmer would have to program the computer to be smarter than himself. But how does one do that??

    (Just so that you know what you might perhaps have to explain to me in greater detail here are my "personal specifications" ;)
    My own experience with programming is both extensive (regarding the timespan) and limited (as far as my abilities are concerned). I started way back in the 70s with BASIC and over the course of 40 years worked my way up to PHP and HTML. Programming in the modern languages doesn't hold much appeal to me, though. I much prefer the more direct contact to the computer that BASIC offered. I have no immediate experience with fuzzy logic and systems that have an ability to learn unless you count that I was one of Alice's many teachers and training partners.)
     
  17. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    More programmers. And/or the ability to learn.
     
  18. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    It all comes down to the definition of "intelligence." Computers can do things easily that humans may find difficult or even impossible. And yet, were you to show a computer a painting, it wouldn't be able to analyze it the way an art critic could. Computers can crunch numbers exceptionally well, but they have no critical capacity.
     
  19. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But all of this is a big "NOT YET". All it takes is the right processing power and programming.

    And what we want from a computer. Computers are (usually) supposed to deliver deterministic results. You want it to function according to your needs. And art critic is quite the opposite of that. Show one image to two critics and you get three different opinions. On a Monday. On a Tuesday, you get an additional set of opinions.

    Right now, you can write programs to objectively analyze an image, and depending on the processing power you get amazing results really fast. The subjective interpretation is usually not what you want a computer to do. Even today you could write a program that spits out "subjective" analysis, depending on a database of opinions/rules/heuristics. Like, I dunno, blue color - cold, orange color - warm, and you can yield a result like "this image has a cold feel to it". As a basic example. But what is the point of such a program?
     
  20. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    Computers don't always have to behave deterministically. (Some are designed not to, for certain applications.)

    Computers can do quantitative analysis quite well. Even when they play at qualitative analysis, in the end it's just a bunch of rules surrounding a quantitative analysis.

    For most purposes, though, you're right: most problems we can envision will eventually be solvable by a computer that is powerful enough and programmed properly. The latter depends on having good enough programmers, of course. The most powerful computer in the world won't help you solve any problems if it doesn't have the right programmers.