This article was last modified on January 31, 2011.

Noam Chomsky v. IBM’s Watson Computer

Conversation from January/February 2011, between myself and Noam Chomsky:

GS: As the world’s leading linguist, what are your thoughts on Watson, the robot that will be appearing on “Jeopardy”? This appears to be the most advanced form of AI to date.

NC: I’m not impressed by a bigger steamroller.

GS: I assume that “a bigger steamroller” is a reference to Deep Blue. Watson understands spoken language and adapts its knowledge based on human interaction. What level of AI would be required to impress you?

NC: Watson understands nothing. It’s a bigger steamroller. Actually, I work in AI, and a lot of what is done impresses me, but not these devices to sell computers.

GS: What do you think of the Turing Test?

NC: Exactly what Turing did in the 8-page paper in which he outlined it, and which no one seems to able to read. As he made clear, the question whether machines think “is too meaningless to deserve discussion” (from memory, but something like that).

GS: What work are you doing in the field of AI?

NC: The work I do on language involves computational systems of mind. Same with many others. Same with work of the David Marr school on vision. And much more in the cognitive sciences. That’s the serious part of AI, I think.

GS: As you consider the idea of questioning if a computer can have intelligence pointless, do you feel that AI needs a new name?

NC: There was a famous debate about 40 years ago between Marvin Minsky, the guru of AI, and Jerry Lettvin, a biologist at MIT. At one point Jerry said he thought the field was misnamed: it should be called “natural stupidity”. I didn’t say that I regarded the Turing test as pointless. Rather, I agree with Turing, who thought there was a point to his “imitation game” (“Turing test”).

GS: My apologies if I incorrectly attributed the “pointless” remark to you… I took it from Jack Copeland, who writes, “Can a computer possibly be intelligent, think and understand? Noam Chomsky suggests that debating this question is pointless, for it is a question of decision, not fact: decision as to whether to adopt a certain extension of common usage. There is, Chomsky claims, no factual question as to whether any such decision is right or wrong–just as there is no question as to whether our decision to say that aeroplanes fly is right, or our decision not to say that ships swim is wrong.” Is he right in his interpretation of your views?

NC: I don’t know who Copeland is, but he should take the trouble to read Turing’s paper –- after all, it’s quite short. I simply endorsed what he said. I won’t comment on the rest.

(Gavin notes: Jack Copeland is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury and the Director of the Turing Archive for the History of Computing. He has undoubtedly read the paper in question.)

GS: Watson doesn’t “know” anything, as you said. Is it always wrong to use “knowledge” or “intelligence” when discussing computers, no matter how advanced? Are these terms strictly human?

NC: The computer is in itself is maybe a good paperweight. It’s the program that is doing everything. A program is a theory written in a weird notation, so it can be executed by computer. By the standards of theories, this one is an awful theory.

I discussed computer intelligence in a paper I wrote for a Turing symposium. (Which you can find here — the only free location on the Web, folks!)

GS: If Watson is a “bigger steamroller” compared to Deep Blue, is the human brain a “bigger steamroller” than a primate brain? If not, why does the analogy not work?

NC: Insects can carry out intellectual feats that you and I can’t. That doesn’t mean that their brains are bigger steamrollers than human brains. They function differently, and it’s a hard problem to discover how.

Response from Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil, a notable futurist and inventor, responded to Chomsky’s words on February 13, 2011 (the eve of the competition’s airing).

Kurzweil says that Chomsky’s “answers are so brief that it is difficult to understand what he is trying to say. I would say that Watson is clearly not yet ‘strong AI’, but it is an important step in that direction. It is the clearest demonstration I’ve seen of computers handling the subtleties of language including metaphors, puns and jokes, something people had said would not be possible. I don’t agree with Chomsky that Watson is not impressive in that regard. As long as AI has any flaws or limitations, people will jump on these. By the time that the set of these limitations is nil, AI will have long since surpassed unaided human intelligence.”

Also try another article under Philosophical
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

49 Responses to “Noam Chomsky v. IBM’s Watson Computer”


    All due respect to Chomsky’s scientific linguistic tenure, He is dead wrong in this subject as he was wrong about Kanzi. Chomsky is not an creationist but he is homosapiens supremacist. According to him Kanzi’s language capability doesn’t have any meaning and any relation to homo sapiens language. he was dogmatic and he is putting human intellect in a totally separate world.

    I am working on language neurophysiology, as my understanding our language and intellect is the continuum of our predeccessors and our protege in this subject computers but nothing else.

    Given the credit about data processing, and complex intellectual algorithm processing capacity, what else can be the candidate.

    May be Chomsky will not see Intelligent computers, but i am sure 10-20 years we are going to be witness great boom of (artificial) intelligence explosion in computer world.

    Computer no matter what they become intelligent but one should not expect their features will be the same as ours, computers will be most likely, emotionless, non empathic , dry , colorless but firm straight intelligent being in the future.

    why a machine , a computer must imitate our way, it doesn’t necessary, in computer world humanly things are superfluous, this doesn’t make them robots, they become intelligent but not in our way. With their way.

    Chomsky’s answer about watson reminds me Inquisition judges, they told the galileo world is the center of the universe. they were wrong just like chomsky.

  2. danR Says:

    I wrote Chomsky in the late ’90s, opining that AI would occur around 2011. He replied he was familiar with what was going on in the field and was not impressed by progress. He appears to be of the same opinion still.

    I agree with him about the Turing test, and there is a youTube video of Kurzweil (unflappably, as the man has no nerves) trounced by his debating opponent as to asking a machine:

    ‘Do you like strawberries?’

    A universe filled with RAM and processors could not meaningfully answer the question.

    But as far as intelligence abstractly considered—a Spockian intelligence—Kurzweil has been all too conservative, talking 2030-ish for AI. Artificial Intelligence is just that, and should not be tied to a parochial humanoid template: there is Bonobo intelligence, Grey Parrot intelligence, Cetacean intelligence, Portia spider intelligence, but something can be extracted from all that that represents a Platonic notion of intelligence.

    So, Kurzweil et al should get off this total-brain-simulation nonsense. It is not going to prove anything Turing or otherwise to make up fake answers to:

    ‘Do you like strawberries?’
    ‘Yes, with cream and sugar.’
    ‘I’d eat them, but they give me hives.’

    I just made up those answers, but they would satisfy a Turing test; but strawberries do not give me hives. The ‘answer’ is meaningless, and we should not trouble machine intelligence with such irrelevant nonsense.

    The fact that Watson can best Jeopardy contestants proves nothing about its humanity. It does show however that it can encompass a huge sector of what most people consider the domain of intelligence; and the areas of computed intelligence, outside of the trivial matter of strawberry-liking is growing exponentially.

    I revise my prediction, but not by much: machine intelligence—UNDERSTOOD IN ITS OWN TERMS—will be here by 2014, and one other thing I said in the late 90s: the national value of this to Russia, Israel, Japan, America, China vastly exceeds the value of the Manhattan project, the corollary being that if Watson is doing this in the open:

    What projects, with 100 times the budget and manpower, have been going on under the deepest cover, and may possibly not be revealed in 2014, if ever?

    I’m personally confident that, given 20 billion dollars, and 500 specialists, I could deliver AI by 2014. I only ask we get off this nonsense about simulating human intelligence. Watson, and other projects, is showing what can be done there, what can be done if we dispense with the notion?

  3. danR Says:

    Yes, I used the word ‘nonsense’ 3 times. Not aesthetic ‘intelligence’ I concede.

  4. Tweets that mention The Framing Business » Noam Chomsky v. IBM’s Watson Computer -- Says:

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  5. Watson - The Quantum Pontiff Says:

    […] Here is an amusing curmudgeonly discussion of Watson by Noam Chomsky. Don’t worry Noam, I’m sure Watson won’t feel sad about all your mean […]

  6. John Says:

    The Turing test is a real blind alley, as danR’s comment about how silly it will be to grade a machine intelligence on how well it can lie in answering a question about liking strawberries. We could no more answer a question like “how does the solar wind feel today” because we lack sensory apparatuses necessary to have a meaningful answer to the question. I would find a conversation in which a machine was capable of observing and remarking on that (and thereby failing a Turing test) much more interesting than I would a conversation with an accomplished machine faker. I think Chomsky is right that “Watson understands nothing,” but doesn’t acknowledge that by a very real and meaningful analogy, neither does he.

  7. Noam Chomsky v. IBM’s Watson Computer « Interesting Tech Says:

    […] Read more here Posted in Uncategorized , interesting, science, tech | No Comments » […]

  8. Lonny Eachus Says:


    Give me 30 billion dollars and by 2013 I will have it done. Or will have disappeared into thin air. One of the two.

  9. Massive Parallel Processing vs. The Human Brain « Matthias Greiff Says:

    […] Noam Chomsky talks about IBM’s Watson […]

  10. danR Says:

    Lonny Eachus:

    Some people are more sensible than me.

    Of course, if either winds up building Skynet, he’d better find somewhere to disappear. The way things are going at Jeopardy, Watson 2.0 will be very good at finding people.

  11. harryd Says:

    It seems that artificial intelligence is being redefined by the Chomsky group as artificial sentience. That sort of artificiality seems more remote than the actual existence of extremely high level artificial intelligence. That is basically solving very complex problems that are generally associated with wet brains or human intelligence. Silicon and cmos suddenly saying “hey_ I AM; at least I $think$ I am” would be their sort of AI. Could be a while_ maybe not.

  12. Seth Says:

    Man. Ol’ Noam’s kind of a huge stick in the mud, isn’t he.

  13. David Poole Says:

    I agree with Noam: most of the people who discuss the Turing test seem to have not read Turing’s paper. It is easy to read. You can find it here:
    Then you will not wonder about the “Do you like strawberries?” This is quite a meaningful question in Turing’s imitation game.

  14. danR Says:

    Davide Poole:

    You’re addressing the strawberry question, which would be an appropriate question in the Turing test, indeed, since, like sonnet-writing and chess-playing topics, could convince the judge of the human-ness of the machine. That is predicate-logic semantics.

    It is not pragmatics, as linguistically understood, in the omniscient sense. Deep down, it’s the Turing test that is meaningless. Machines do not like strawberries, and human intelligence is entangled inextricably with likes and dislikes of that ilk, and many others. The discussion of AI ‘strong’ or ‘weak’ seems to default inevitably to the Turing test, as otherwise intelligent journalists would devolve to Monica Lewinsky at another time, instead of more pertinent aspects of Clinton’s presidential performance, unless someone in Beijing farted or something else equally newsworthy happened.

    Machines should not be tied to a parochial old test that has ‘meaning’ only to humans.

  15. alex scrivens Says:

    Jeez…of course intelligence can be replicated, as long as you define it as the capacity to retrieve dates and facts couched in language…
    Intelligence is only one of the contributing factors that make us human , and as our brains are made of evolved brains, they contain instinct,insight, intuition as well as intelligence. Which of the four is most evolved? It’s not intelligence. Chomsky is right…AI is an illusion right now, not because of the definition, but because of the perception…and ultimately it’s insight that makes us fully human.

  16. Watson: ¿Avance científico o herramienta publicitaria? Says:

    […] de la singularidad tecnológica, lo cual me parece totalmente risible. El opuesto es la opinión de Noam Chomsky, quien no se ve en absoluto impresionado por lo que hace la máquina de IBM y que afirma que Watson […]

  17. Pelle Says:

    You may ask what 8-page paper Chomsky has read since Turing used 28 pages in the journal Mind to propose his test. I think that Turing would say that Chomsky still (after 60 years) uses the “Heads in the Sand” objection.

  18. Nam bodo računalniki zavladali? « Monitorjev blog Says:

    […] Mnenje Noama Chomskyja […]

  19. danR Says:


    He may have misspoke the number, or it’s a typo. I only know the regular paper; pity he died so young.

    Sometimes it’s hard to follow just what Chomsky is driving at. He seems to be saying Turing somehow agrees with him. My objection to the Turing test is that it doesn’t take an omniscient view of what HUMAN intelligence entails, eg. the ability, in a Gricean cooperative framework, to genuinely convey an enjoyment of strawberries and cream.

    Nothing in Turing’s answers to objections tells me that convincing a judge that an entity likes strawberries by emulating the pragmatic sequence of humanoid conversation is a test of intelligence. The machine isn’t even reaching the level of LYING, which would at least give it some semblance of one aspect of human intelligence. However, it does emulate very high-level syntactic and semantic and contextually limited pragmatic, performance, which are proxies of one very significant axis of human intelligence: the control of language.

    But again, I don’t ask the machine to emulate human intelligence, only to display some kind of absolute Platonic intelligence, abstract intelligence, call it what you will.

    Watson has done quite a good job of many aspects of intelligence, including human, and since it is only one part in the current pantheon of computing systems, it is only a matter of time to pull all the parts together. I hope it doesn’t result in skynet.

  20. Ask Ray | How do you respond to Chomsky’s claim that “Watson is not good AI” | KurzweilAI Says:

    […] has told me that Watson is not good AI, though, and I’m curious how Kurzweil would respond to Chomsky’s words, found here.I read your article in PC Magazine, which is what persuaded me to contact you. With regards to […]

  21. Paul Wright Says:

    I think Chomsky was relatively clear in his point of view, In his mention of “cognitive science” and that “A program is a theory written in a weird notation”, Chomsky alludes to the fact that what we see here is a demonstration of human-conceived algorithms imposed upon an unintelligent (albeit powerful) machine, that can evaluate said algorithms for a specific solution. Which is not intelligence per-se.

    As opposed to the organic nature of the human brain, by comparison it is “hardwired” for intelligence. More the point, demonstrates its’ own will to learn.

    Though one might argue that is the software that provides the intelligence, said ‘appearance’ of intelligence is not acquired at the will of the machine, but imposed upon the machine by a human. There is no rationalization, thought, or will to learn here. …its still (rather impressive) GIGO data processing and it is the humans that provide the appearance of intelligence.

  22. danR Says:

    I don’t find him clear after his first replies, and I agree approximately with Kurzweil’s assessment of the interview in the previous link.

    I agree with Kurzweil that Watson shows a major chunk of the performance that we expect in what we would call human intelligence. I disagree the canonical AI sentiment AI = HI (human intelligence).

    That is a parochial view of intelligence that Watson 2.0 might wish to dispute in the future.

    I would prefer as a starting definition of ‘intelligence’ something like the following:

    ‘Intelligence is the mapping of physical (and therefrom abstract) elements of reality onto a system of tokens manipulable by the system in a way that the interaction of tokens can model past, present, future, or subjunctive behaviours, states, or relationships, etc. of reality.’

    Now, that’s a crude draft proposal. A starting point. It has little to do with the Turing test, nor should it.

    This is AI proper: and a start toward subsuming all intelligences (portia spiders, cetaceans, grey parrots, humans, bonobos, machines, etc.) under one category.

  23. danR Says:

    Also, Chomsky appears to follow the common fallacy that computing is all in the software, the machine is only a paper weight. All digital computing machines are Turing machines, which require both software instructions, and a means of keeping track of operations, data, etc. The hardware part of it is indispensable, whether silicon, optical, or just as assembly of paper, marking instrument, and machinery controlled by the operations to move a lever to maintain the paper-trail appropriately. Analog computers also require machinery.

    Intelligence always requires machinery. The machinery may indeed make a (lousy) paperweight, but that’s going to be true anyway, whether laptop, mainframe, chimp, human, or parrot.

  24. chomsky on watson | Mathisonian Says:

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  25. Follia Digitale » IBM’s Watson vs Humans, Noam Chomsky, Stephen Wolfram Says:

    […] Noam Chomsky v. IBM’s Watson Computer GS: As the world’s leading linguist, what are your thoughts on Watson, the robot that will be appearing on “Jeopardy”? This appears to be the most advanced form of AI to date. NC: I’m not impressed by a bigger steamroller. GS: I assume that “a bigger steamroller” is a reference to Deep Blue. Watson understands spoken language and adapts its knowledge based on human interaction. What level of AI would be required to impress you? NC: Watson understands nothing. It’s a bigger steamroller. Actually, I work in AI, and a lot of what is done impresses me, but not these devices to sell computers. […]

  26. Cristobal Espinosa Says:

    I guess this guy does AI using his own linguistic brain since he does not believe in computers and considers WATSON an excuse to sell computers and “worthless” according to him.
    Let me educate the linguist a bit:
    * Watson relies on advanced analytics to answer questions precisely.
    * Operating on a single CPU, it could take Watson two hours to answer a single question. A typical Jeopardy! contestant can accomplish this feat in less than three seconds. For Watson to rival the speed of its human competitors in delivering a single, precise answer to a question requires custom algorithms, terabytes of storage and thousands of POWER7 computing cores working in a massively parallel system.
    * Watson was optimized to tackle a specific challenge: competing against the world’s best Jeopardy! contestants. Beyond Jeopardy!, the IBM team is working to deploy this technology across industries such as healthcare, finance and customer service

  27. Watson and Jeopardy! | HMH Calendar Says:

    […] Noam Chomsky v. IBM’s Watson Computer This brief interview by Gavin Schmitt with renowned linguist Noam Chomsky mentions (and includes a link to) the Turing Test, devised in 1950 by Alan M. Turing, the computer science pioneer. (Source: The Framing Business, January 23, 2011) […]

  28. Watson and Jeopardy! | HMH Current Events Says:

    […] Noam Chomsky v. IBM’s Watson Computer This brief interview by Gavin Schmitt with renowned linguist Noam Chomsky mentions (and includes a link to) the Turing Test, devised in 1950 by Alan M. Turing, the computer science pioneer. (Source: The Framing Business, January 23, 2011) ← Peace Corps Turns Fifty Upheaval in Libya Causes Oil Price Spike → […]

  29. Watson and Jeopardy! | HMH Current Events Says:

    […] Noam Chomsky v. IBM’s Watson Computer This brief interview by Gavin Schmitt with renowned linguist Noam Chomsky mentions (and includes a link to) the Turing Test, devised in 1950 by Alan M. Turing, the computer science pioneer. (Source: The Framing Business, January 23, 2011) ← Peace Corps Turns Fifty Upheaval in Libya Causes Oil Price Spike → […]

  30. Tim Rue Says:

    There is a metaphor many people know of but perhaps few really understand what it is referring to.
    “Stone image of the beast”
    The Beast is man in his deceptive ways.
    The stone is referring to computers which are made of stone, earth, minerals…
    The images is software as software (regardless of what abstract languages used in creating it or how its translated into something a bunch of transistors can process) describes the thought process patterns of the beast (man).

    With this in mind, it is a very bad idea of IBM to promote this very heavy paperweight and steamroller processing as being intelligent though adding “Artificial” before the word “intelligent” should indeed express false intelligence. However AI has not been promoted that way enough over time so that people will not bow down to it. And that’s the problem, people bowing down to it.

    There is a saying, “garbage in garbage out” and using wikipedia as a resources is evidence of inherit bias towards error. But it also shows something about Watson. Watson is designed and coded to process selective data, data that has to already exist. By Wikipedias own policy it is a hear-say site, totally based upon a need to have external pre-existing references. And its editors can be and often enough are biased as to what references they allow.

    So when it comes to Financial, Legal and Medical use of Watson all you really have is a big paperweight with steamroller processing of human language based pre-existing data. And should be seen at best as only an extension of a humans ability to search human documented knowledge. This does not include innovation, exception handling or projection outside the selected resources. It does not include the “knowing” that comes with experience.

    Artificial Intelligence is the by-product illusion of automating enough information processing to fool one into believing the machine is human.

    Then there is the other side of the computing coin. Where recognizing the stone image of the beast for what it really is and calling it what it really is, we can use it without the deception of “artificial intelligence” mystery. We can use it to mirror and play out in a safe virtual reality environment our own thought processing that we may see our own errors before actually applying and experiencing the errors of our thought processing in real life. And there is a lot more we can use this tool for as well.

    Who doesn’t yet know that sales hype in the computer industry commonly contains lies.

    Anyway, and there are those in the programming industry on both side of the fence (proprietary and open source) who do not like me for what I expose in honesty of both computing and human abstraction processing.

    Denial is mans most powerful weapon, for it is the only weapon against honesty and yet it too fails as history shows and current events of exposure of corruption ….which will change Watsons resources.

    Make no mistake, Watson is seriously crash-able…. So never bow down to a stone image of the beast!

  31. kyrpepaske Says:

    Especially, if Watson is able to use wikipedia as source and do reliable conclusions… its rather impressive, it has to evaluate data and its logic and score it’s “reliability” of course theres other sources of data too, available.

    Anyhow the Common “sense” Knowledge base would be rather kewl… and it doesnt require thinking AI, it requires insane amount of different kinds of classification rules that are adjustable.

    Tim, your obviously bit mistaken from human ability to Search&read all the hefty amounts of data.
    Theres truly place for computers as it can summarize the information kinda effortlessly, if you know how to give right parameters… And i don’t find this bad, some people really could use it, they can’t even use google search efficiently so they need more abstraction :D

  32. Tim Rue Says:

    kyrpepaske, you cannot improve a search through clutter by creating more clutter.
    Common Sense Knowledge? Do you not know of cyc and its short comings?
    Wikipedia is not a reliable source, can and often contains subtle errors, bias & even lack of references and lack of accessible references. If you can’t access the references in a timely manner online then how can you verify before you lose interest or time to verify? IO could say a lot more but …. why? I don’t work for IBM.

  33. Pelle Says:

    According to Stephen Hawkins, the human brain is like a computer.

  34. Pelle Says:

    Here is a better source.

  35. Anima Ex Machina » Blog Archive » Is Faster Smarter? IBM’s Watson Search Engine Approach to Beat Humans - The blog of Hector Zenil Says:

    […] everybody is impressed by Watson according to Gavin C. Schmitt who interviewed Noam Chomsky, the recognized […]

  36. Khannea Suntzu Says:

    Two giants – chomsky, a well educated leftist and Kurzweil, a well educated someone who has been steadily been drifting to the other side off late.

    Both have a world view tainted by preconceptions. Chomsky, even though he’s quite old, has a theoretical reason to regard Hard AI as ‘remote’, in fact so remote he can easily dismiss the dangers of AI to human rights, or the dangers of AI to widespread empoyability, or the dangers of AI to freedoms and solidarity and divisions of things such as goods, services, knowledge, skill, education or access to energy and scarce minerals. Chomsky wants the superior human state unchallenged because as soon as it weren’t – it is too horrible to think about…

    …while at the same time Ray is making a fortune in seminars that might just act as the new clarion call for western civilization, progress and profit. Ray offers an alternative to luddite rejectionism, fear of change, fear of widespread poverty and societal collapse. But at the same time Ray wantonly contributes to commoditizing a hopeful message where in reality all this techno-utopianism is just as likely to lead us behind him to a deeply unequal and dystopian future. That’s not bad for Ray – he’ll be making fortunes at a steep hourly rate as techno-evangalical messiah.

    He should, if he can, but he might be unconsciously lying. Or in rosy-glasses denial over the long term direction where we are headed.

    Either Chomsky or Ray’s denial may get a lot of people killed. Potentially all of them.

  37. SymbolicCenter Says:

    The resolution of a field of possibility produces a series of images. The processes involved with turning choice into decision is the craft of image making. The system that makes the decisions is the resolution process. The decision making can be independent or distributed choice making. An example of independent is the monitor screen, where independent pixels can be decided. The screen is in fact in the universe, but I cannot claim the same choice mechanisms for all parts of the universe are homogenous. I believe that equilbrium spaces get created, that our more independent choices can be resolved against. If the goal of intelligence is simply to be resolved by the resolution machine, than no thinking is required. The space of goals is 0. The idea of projecting a kind of logic onto a world and seeing results occur, depend upon the system’s feedback. If a system’s feedback is null, then any image one produces is valid. If a system produces feedback, then we may be define partial image processes that use the natural resolution of the space, to produce our end product. The idea of independent choice, or distributed choice is the same, and end result. But where from the sequences of sight, sound, do goals come from? Why would an AI need to change the world, if it could create its own? What is so special about mastering the logic of the universe? One can create their own images, from their own logic. The AI is also a member of the universe. There are no ghosts in the machine, there are distributed chemical systems. The AI system must be aware of its own chemistry. It must understand the laws of resolution, in space that creates fields that are more free than those that create them.

  38. NeoEd Says:

    Yo SymbolicCenter. You made little to no sense. I suspect that you’re spouting off your ideas of what an artificial intelligence on the human level would be like? You didn’t define your terms, they may be familiar to you, but the rest of us are wondering at your choice of words.

    To really describe a theoretical model for a human like AI would require a little more space, I’ll take for granted that no one intends to post something like that here.

    I’m pretty sure that a lot of us cave programmers are working on AI, just because it’s such an important problem. Not all of us need a degree in order to take up the challenge, we are humanity, we conquer problems.

    I’m personally not interested in a stand alone sentient AI. I’m interested in knowing how we can create artificial concepts through software. What kind of engine that would require, how it would model information. Fascinating topic really.

  39. Victor Says:

    What I would like to know is; can Watson answer the following question after ‘analyzing’ this web page:

    “What are the usernames of those commenters that essentially share Noam Chomsky’s view about you?”

    If Watson can answer that question correctly, he would prove Chomsky wrong.

  40. pelle Says:

    And what is the correct answer?

  41. Victor Says:

    Unlike Watson, I do not have either the time nor the interest to go through all the comments in detail. Watson can have all the time he wants. Let’s just see if he even understands the question.

  42. Gemera Says:

    There have been too many hysterically over the top pronouncements on AI progress in the past.

    I think Watson is an interesting development, but still nowhere near anything worth tagging ‘intelligent’.

    At it’s heart it is STILL essentially information processing but at great speed.
    And there is no processing unless the information is there to begin with, which makes the idea of it going on a quiz show quite laughable in many ways.

    What next? Maybe we should all be allowed to connect to the internet during educational exams?

    In order to go from mere information processing to something worth calling ‘intelligent’, AI would have to take a quantum leap ( transcendental overview ), in which the primary focus was no longer on the information being processed but on an understanding by the machine of the context of the information being processed, beyond semantics.

    Until then (possibly in some remote time or even never?)the concept of a semantically driven, all be it sophisticated, database making any IMPORTANT health care decisions for anyone would be rather
    worrying for me.

    To a doctor a ‘disease’ is a complex multi-faceted existential as well as conceptual reality.

    To so-called AI it is merely a ‘tag’ which is related in simple and complex ways to other ‘tags’.

    What has hither to been called Artificial Intelligence should be renamed Pseudo Intelligence or similar.

  43. Trí tuệ nhân tạo và những vị chúa tể mới « Lenhoty's Blog Says:

    […] thực sự có trí tuệ hay không? Noam Chomsky, một nhà ngôn ngữ học nổi tiếng, thẳng thừng tuyên bố: “Với tôi, Watson chẳng hiểu gì cả. Nó chỉ là một cái máy ủi rất to […]

  44. Anthony Says:

    Something that many discussions on A.I. seem to leave out is the “hard problem of consciousness” (David Chalmers). So long as computers lack consciousness they will be nothing more than calculators ‘on steroids’, or, in the words or Chomsky, “bigger steamrollers”.

  45. Kuznacti Says:

    would be surprising to have an AI capable of solving the problems of computing marathons. Example:

  46. IBM Watson set to open for Indian startup Ecosystem | NewsYaps | NewsYaps Says:

    […] Read the full interview here. […]

  47. IBM: Watson – Implikaatiot ja mahdollisuudet: tiedonsaatavuuden yltäkylläisyydestä sen kielelliseen automaattiharavointiin | Huojuva torni Says:

    […] (Chomskyn mietteitä tekoälystä ja Watsonista) (Tietokoneohjatun shakin kehityksen kronologia) (Atkinin ja Slaten shakkiohjelmaan liittyen) (Deep blue –shakkitietokoneesta) (Deep Blue -koneen ja Kasparovin kohtaamisesta) (”Game Over” –dokumentista) (Watsonista)! (Jeopardysta) (Turingin testistä) (IBM-yhtiöstä) (Nuance Communications Inc. -yhtiöstä) (Menneestä Piquant-projektista jonkinlaista mainintaa) (Jeopardy! – tietovisa, jossa Watson kilpaili) (IBM:n pari videota Watsonista) (IBM:n “Perspectives on Watson: Healthcare”) (IBM:n “Perspectives on Watson – Ambiguity”) (IBM:n haasteen esittelyvideo) (IBM:n ”Building Watson – A Brief Overview of the DeepQA Project”) (engadgetin video “How IBM’s Watson supercomputer wins at Jeopardy, with IBM’s Dave Gondek”)  (TED.comin haastattelut haasteen onnistumisen jälkeen) (”Building Watson: An Overview of the DeepQA Project”. AI Magazine -lehden artikkeli Watsonista, syksyltä 2010) (NY Times: “What is IBM’s Watson?”) (Washington Technology: “IBM’s Watson heads to medical school”) (Clinical decision support system, jollaiseksi Watsonia muun muassa kaavaillaan jatkokehityksessä lääketieteen saralla) (IBM:n virallinen sivu Watsonille) […]

  48. Smithy Says:

    Its Steve Wozniak of Apple fame that has stated we should be wary of the dangers of Artificial Intelligence.

  49. Elementary, my dear Watson ! | Smals Research Says:

    […] grote filosoof en taalkundige Noam Chomsky omschreef in een interview het fenomeen Watson als een grotere pletwals ("a bigger steamroller"), daarmee doelend op het feit […]

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