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Re: [ontolog-forum] Watson's Wed. win by simple look-up questions

To: pcmurray2000@xxxxxxxxx, "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ronald Stamper <stamper.measur@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2011 00:03:14 +0000
Message-id: <00B61F66-49C0-4FEF-8B70-357FADB3B04B@xxxxxxxxx>
I read with interest a few of that Watson / AI contributions.    (01)

I'm not sure that John S is right saying, in effect, that AI with any  
other name would smell as sweet.    (02)

Labels have emotive connotations that, used skillfully, can direct a  
customer's or funding body's attention where you want it.
Military commanders prefer repatriating container loads of scrap metal  
and electronics rather than body bags.
On a signpost,  'AI' points in the right direction.    (03)

A community of professionals  who believe they can devise machines  
with more intelligence than members of other professions may be  
tempted to feel a trifle superior than their fellows, whose opinions  
they may, therefore, safely ignore.    (04)

But human beings raised apart from their own species do not achieve a  
level of intelligence to envy.  (Evidence of any kind here is rare.)    (05)

When Japan began to invest heavily in their 5th Generation Program, AI  
smelled very sweet to funding bodies and it began to cream off the  
funding from research in other directions.  Journalists smell the  
perfume of AI at a great distance every time a new potential AI wonder  
is envisaged.  5G gave them a feast.    (06)

My own type of work, concerned with using machines to enable  
organisations and other social groups to become more intelligent, had  
difficult funding problems during the 5th Gen. period.  One Research  
Council computer science panel, which had a strong AI representation,  
dismissed my work as "not real science" as "it has something to do  
with the law" and hence should be funded from the social science pot.   
(We used legal norms as empirical material.) I felt annoyed because  
the really fertile ground between machines and society deserved more  
attention.    (07)

Occasionally I hear the  Round Britain Quiz on BBC Radio 4.  I commend  
it as a game several interesting levels up from the Watson / Nintendo  
games.  It involves collaborative groups (2 or 4) answering questions  
full of alusions, and other subtleties one finds in difficult  
crosswords.    (08)

Regards,    (09)

Ronald    (010)

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