Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Smarter Than You Think -- Epilogue

[Smarter Than You Think]

"How should you respond when you get powerful new tools for finding answers? Think of harder questions." -- Clive Thompson

In the epilogue of Smarter Than You Think, Clive Thompson discusses Watson, IBM's high-profile artificially intelligent computer system capable of playing Jeopardy!  Thompson mentions frightening doomsday scenarios where super computers take over, and he also discusses the positive potential outcomes where humans working in tandem with smart computers might allow society to achieve new and useful possibilities.

Where did you tend to lean when it came to thinking about a world populated by more Watson-like IBM computers? Why?

14 comments:

Jacqueline C. said...

To me, a Watson-like IBM world would not be a good one. There are robot-like things programmed to be better than people which is not fair. These type of things can never rule out things such as emotions or feeling because they can only be programmed to know facts. In certain situations, facts aren't always the best tool to make big decisions. While this type of world could be beneficial in some aspects, it isn't in all cases.

Jacquelene G said...

When it comes to a world populated by more Watson computers, I couldn’t help but lean more on the side of technology causing us not to really think about things as much as we did in the past. The author talks about the moment he realized with more Watson computers, humanity was doomed, because people would lose jobs, and shows such as Jeopardy would not be any fun with robots everywhere. While technology like Watson IBM computers makes things faster, and information more easily accessible, it takes away the human aspect of things, including the problem solving part it takes to reach an answer, which is part of the learning process.
Jac`quelene G.

Kayleigh E. said...

When reading this chapter, I immediately went to youtube and looked up jeoparady and Watson. It was very interesting watching the 2 humans get beat by a computer. I believe that computers will definitely evolve and take more and more human jobs. Not to the point of taking over the world, though. But the author makes a good point of how much can we trust computers to always give us the right answers. We just have to be smart with how much we trust them.

Jade G said...

I believe that our world turning into a Watson-IBM world could benefit but also worsen our world now. Many people today are so into technology that they don't know anything else but what shows on their phones or computers. But also it could benefit the researcher. It could make life a little easier on their part but it would take out the creativity in finding things on your own or reading a book.

Jenee' Brown said...

When imagining a world filled with Watson-like computers, I have feelings similar to the author's. I think that while they could be interesting and even helpful pieces of technology initially, they would eventually void many of the things humans do. I believe large companies would probably start using them rather than having human workers do the tasks, as the computers are faster, more intelligent, and also do not require a paycheck. So many people would be out of jobs. Also, if ordinary people had access to them, I think they would become even lazier, at least when it comes to mental tasks.

Ashya Ford said...

I think that a world designed and controlled by computers will be a bad experience. I think a world governed by such devices would make life a little difficult to communicate and adapt to other people because we inevitably would lose social skills and other skills pertaining to everyday operations.

Natalie Thompson said...

I am going into the medical field and I think that computers and humans can work together to a certain extent. The example given on p.286 about doctors working with computers to find potential new procedure for patients. It would still be up to the doctor to use their skills but it would also give them new ideas for future experiments. I lean towards Watson IBM, since a lot of what we do today is technology based but we still need to rely on the "brain" to do the critical thinking that computers can not do.

Kiara Gay said...

I do not agree with the idea of making smart computers that can take on the role of humans. One, that will take away the jobs that we work potentially leading to lazy, unproductive, homeless people who can't work because the robots took away the only thing they did in life. Two, we see in the movies all of the time that the smart robots learn quickly and really are smarted than us. We as humans are already evil beings so why make something even smarter than us just so they will destroy us all and take over our planet. If the robot is only there to cure human diseases then that's alright but anything else would be too risky and not very "smart" at all.

Olivia Slater said...

Watson-like IBM computers are good for humanity to an extent. They are a great technological advancement, however, the replacement of jobs is a potentially detrimental thing to the economy. Overall I believe that the use of these machines would be helpful in moderation to society as a whole.

C. S. said...

I'm on the fence. I think the computers are great and allow us to utilize many areas of our own super comp. (multifaceted brain..) that we tend to not use.
However, as you use an object less, it becomes obsolete. I think smart computers may cause a decrease in un-motivated people and thus innovation as we lose those kinds of people.

Chante S.

Sandra N said...

I don't think a world populated by Watson computers would be a good one. Our society is already turning more to technology to solve problems and critical thinking skills are slowly becoming less important. Computers can already do more than the average mind. For such smart computers to become more commonplace, the human mind will become obsolete. The most important difference between humans and computers are emotions an the ability to feel different ones. Emotions are important in life and computers cannot feel them. I think computers will evolve on their own without humans speeding up the process.

Ashley Bass said...

When thinking about the world being populated by more Watson-like IBM computers I feel like it would be chaos. Technology should not be able to replace humans overall, it should just be an aid to help people perform better, faster, cheaper. I don't want to think about computers taking over and walking around with us, which could actually realistically happen.

Kiana S said...

I am kind of torn about the topic. The first thing that comes to mind are robots in the medical field setting. They are most of the time less invasive and more precise, most of the time. They can also cause complications that would not have happened in the presence of a real physician. I also believe that the super computers can take away jobs from real people. I feel very strongly about this topic, that is why I am bringing it up.

Kiana S said...

I am kind of torn about the topic. The first thing that comes to mind are robots in the medical field setting. They are most of the time less invasive and more precise, most of the time. They can also cause complications that would not have happened in the presence of a real physician. I also believe that the super computers can take away jobs from real people. I feel very strongly about this topic, that is why I am bringing it up.