Watson Doesn’t Know He Won Jeopardy

by Max Andrews

UC Berkeley Professor of Philosophy John Searle chimed in on Jeopardy’s recent episode where a computer competed against the show’s two winningest contestants.  Searle illustrates his objection to AI claims with his famous Chinese Room thought experiment.  His insight is interesting and, I believe, true when it comes to artificial intelligence (never mind the lack of an immaterial mind, that’s beside the point).

See the Wall Street Journal Wednesday Feb. 23, 2011 article.


3 Comments to “Watson Doesn’t Know He Won Jeopardy”

  1. Congrats IBM for making a computer smarter than a human! And to GM for making a car faster than a human and to the designers of drills for making a computer that can control a drill to dig oil wells faster and deeper than a human. But, can they think? Emotions, Logic, even Common Sense? Humans win!

    • This is a year and a couple months late, but how are we to prove that Watson can’t think and understand? I read the whole article and Searle never explains that. We assume that Watson can’t understand, but there’s no way we can know it. The only way that I know that all of you understand is because you express it, just like Watson does. As far as I know, what Watson did shows his understanding.

      Also, in the example that Searle used, he has to know English in order to translate. Wouldn’t that mean that Watson has to understand something in order to do the work that he does?

      Just some counter thoughts.

      • Well, apart from Searle, the makers of Watson will say the something he’s saying. If we can explain how we designed Watson to respond to commands and to translate and run data what gap are you looking for? Why is it that we can’t know if we design it to operate the way it does?

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