[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Laurie Hansen of the CTL.]
This fall, quiz show Jeopardy! will showcase 3-year old Watson, an artificial-intelligence, or Question Answering (QA), system created and built by IBM . Harry Friedman Executive Producer of Jeopardy! claims that Watson is not “Google on steroids” but is actually a computer that uses critical thinking and a natural language processing technology. John Kelly boasts, “[Watson] will represent an entirely new level of communication between computers and human beings…”
Computers use logic. However, Michael L. Brown, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Simmons College, Boston writes that:
When mathematicians, scientists and other experts at problem-solving are studied and asked to elucidate their problem-solving processes, they regularly report that they work first in intuitive images, irreducible to logic and often visionary or dreamlike. It is only after they have ‘seen around the corner’ that logical reasoning is engaged, to systematize the findings and make them coherent. The ultimate challenge for computer science is not artificial intelligence but artificial imagination.