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Monday, April 27, 2009

IBM Takes on Jeopardy

In the NY Times, the technology section : ' ... I.B.M. plans to announce Monday that it is in the final stages of completing a computer program to compete against human “Jeopardy!” contestants. If the program beats the humans, the field of artificial intelligence will have made a leap forward ... ' .

This reminds me of my first interaction with IBM and computers in general, at the 1964 NY Worlds Fair. The IBM pavilion had a presentation where you typed in your birth date and it generated a punch card with the headlines from the NY Times for that date. You got the card. At the time I considered that genius marketing. Just database look up, but I was impressed enough to keep thinking about computing and intelligence.

Now the next step, Jeopardy playing. Now some of you might not remember Jeopardy but it is a general knowledge game show with a few twists. How much is this a movement towards general AI, as the article somewhat breathlessly suggests? Well not exactly, but I like any kind of step in the right direction, even with a somewhat less than general approach. Even 45 years later.

Update: IBM's press release.

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