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 fiction writer and poet, with his first published poem forthcoming later in 2017 from Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), his Micro.blog (@richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).

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