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Re: [ontolog-forum] IBM Watson on Jeopardy

To: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ron Wheeler <rwheeler@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2011 08:04:22 -0500
Message-id: <4D592856.3020701@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On 14/02/2011 1:55 AM, John F. Sowa wrote:
> On 2/14/2011 12:05 AM, Ron Wheeler wrote:
>> My feeling is that the amount of processing power (CPU's and memory) in
>> Watson applied to Go would probably yield a winning player. We are now
>> at a point where the tree pruning does not have to be very aggressive to
>> achieve a reasonable time between moves.
> Go really is orders of magnitude more difficult than chess.
> Wikipedia has a long article about the challenges and the
> lack of progress in even coming close to the professional
> players:
>    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_Go
>> Would it get "What is 42?" as the question corresponding to
>> "The ultimate question of life and everything, the universe
>> and everything."
> It might, but it certainly wouldn't understand why 42
> is the answer.
>> I suspect that the impact of Watson on Ontology as a field
>> can be negative or positive.  It shows that you can get answers
>> to questions using data that is much less structured than
>> the traditional languages used for ontology research.
> That's a point I've been trying to get across on Ontolog Forum
> for years:  Precision in ontology is appropriate when you have
> a precisely defined subject -- such as a computer program,
> an airplane design, or a bank account.
> But a top-down, monolithic, detailed, universal ontology of everything
> is not only impossible to achieve, it would be a disaster, if anybody
> tried to enforce it on everything.
>> It raises the question about what is a "good enough" process.
>> Does it have to always produce the right answer? Does it have
>> to be a repeatable process that is subject to proof?
> The correct answer to a question depends strongly on context.
> Jeopardy is a somewhat artificial example, but it does have
> a context -- the game show and the category of the question.
> A completely repeatable proof is only possible when all the
> axioms, assumptions, and data are fixed and frozen.  That
> seldom, if ever, happens in a living system.
>> If a Watson was available on a "per Question" basis and
>> only cost a few cents per answer, how many companies or
>> governments would use it?
> Nobody would want a Jeopardy system, except as a toy. 
There are days when I seem to have all the answers but the questions are 
wrong.:-)    (01)

> But the
> underlying software has enormous applications when given the
> data (structured and unstructured) of a business or government
> -- and the US gov't is the world's largest publisher.
> IBM didn't pour millions of dollars into developing Watson just
> as a stunt.  It is excellent advertising, and I'm sure they have
> plans to reap hardware, software, and consulting sales worth many,
> many times more than they spent on developing it.
It will be interesting to see what applications IBM targets next. The 
potential for Homeland Security applications looks very good.    (02)

> John
>    (03)

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