I’m not sure how long this video I found on YouTube will be up, but it is a fascinating watch! I’m struggling to understand my own reaction to it. On the one hand, this is every geek’s dream, a historic moment in artificial intelligence. On the other hand, it is frankly quite frightening. Even when Watson gets the wrong answer, the three possible answers it has ranked at the bottom of the screen seem to illuminate its thought process. It is clear that this technology will spread quickly and thoroughly over the next several years, improving and shrinking as it does. Will our mobile devices circa 2020 be a conversational agent tied into a sensor network, supporting our every whim? Before I watched this episode of Jeopardy I was hopeful. Now I am stunned, worried, and wondering if we should have been more careful about what we wished for…

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review’s “Fairy-Tale Files“.

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