Computers give answers but can also ask questions

IBM Watson

“Computers are useless. They can only give you answers”said, roughly, Pablo Picasso in the 1960’s.

However, today, given an answer, computers seem also capable of asking the question. Already in 1996, one of the most well-known specific artificial intelligences of the day, the chess computer Deep Blue, won for the first time a human grandmaster in chess. In 2011, a successor of Deep Blue, IBM Watson, won human competitors in television quiz show Jeopardy!, where contestants need to form a question based on the given answers. Now, four years later, Watson program has been applied in 75 industries in 17 countries, and tens of thousands of people are using its applications in their own work.

In a meeting on artificial intelligence, the leading researchers estimated, on average, that in 2050 machines will be better than humans at all tasks. Are humans becoming useless?


IBM’s Watson computer, Yorktown Heights, NY.

By Clockready (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons.

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