IBM Set to Tackle Jeopardy, Pushing Into Qualitative Search?

April 27 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: 2009   Rating: 1

Is IBM gearing up to compete with Wolfram Alpha in the computational search game?  Maybe.  Is IBM gearing to take on the top minds on popular TV game show Jeopardy?  Definitely. Check out this video from Big Blue:

Developments such as this have got me thinking about not just the computational search just over the horizon, but also the rise of qualitative search that futurist Paul Saffo mysteriously alluded to in this MemeBox interview.

Comment Thread (25 Responses)

  1. So, we’re headed towards a planet of “intelligent systems?” How about a planet of an intelligent system? Can you have intelligent systems without one overseeing intelligent system? Improving the welfare of companies, enterprises and businesses are the goal? What about the human enterprise?

    As far as I can tell, amongst all the science of analytics must be some key principles about the most efficient non-component destroying polling processes, non-invasive worthwhile collaboration formulation schemes for mutual and inestimable reward perhaps, means to effectively cover perhaps all of humankind within sufficient time to come to some worthwhile mutual tasks? Think I begin to see such pursuable engineering guidelines within the concepts of Shannon’s entropy, self-similar fractals, markovian decision processes, the multinomial theorem, ergodicity, combinatorics and second-order cybernetics.

    I wonder, there is no time of play listed on that IBM advertisement. Is it an endless loop? Yes, I now see it seems to be cycling. Oh, you can click on the lower right corner and amongst the menu find “Turn Off Player.” My, how convenient and well worded, not “Stop?” Maybe that is too negative a word for a PR campaign. Then it becomes an empty frame with a symbol like a transverse eye with the enticing ploy “Turn On.” Is the person who placed this film here receiving some money somehow from IBM for this promotion of their company? Things do not seem to be patterned to suggest open accountability on the sources of information here on this “Future Blogger” website with this one example.

    The general gist I get now is a communication that suggests we need to trust to business expertise and especially of one company, one that I could add makes a lot of money in the military field, in the field of making a killing. I suggest that is what money is naturally biased to facilitate, systems that are based on some taking advantage of others.

    As far as I can tell there is a natural tendency due to circumstance alone, not due to any inherent evilness in any human anywhere, to adopt what is known as cognitive relativism. I first heard of it as epistemological relativism and prefer the briefer more explanatory title “epistemic relativism.” Using this terminology it is not hard to see that it is basically the opposite of the scientific method. Evidence is collected and presented to support an hypothesis, rather than hypothesis collected and presented to support evidence. An understandable etiology of how it has come to plague and compromise human intelligence to destructive ends is apparent. Strip all of the proper nouns from your thoughts and you can begin to come to a realization, much of what we recognize as “things” today are not based on their being valid nor viable entities but based on authority pronouncement. What we use to recognize players within human society other than humans is often based on authority of power and not of reason nor intelligence. Sir John Acton of the late 19th century was perhaps the most read man of his day and one wisdom he recognized remains true, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men of power are almost always bad.” In the words of Lewis Thomas from his late last century book “Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher” “We have yet to learn how to retain our humaneness when assembled in masses.”

    Hmmm, me thinks it would be wise for us to approach abandoning zero-sum games with values measured via some tokens. Best we approach an all-sum game and leave the token representation of information exchanges behind. Hmmm, how to do that in a noninvasive nondestructive manner? Now there is a totally worthwhile engineering goal. Any companies up to the task?

    BTW, I may be missing out on something of value but right now I do not feel enticed to start the second video though it looks a lot more friendly, with the usual Youtube interface including the option to start or stop it immediately and easily. Doesn’t look at all like a propaganda ploy and maybe I’ll come back and look at it but for now, the first video taints this entry altogether in a poor light, IMHO.

    Posted by: Lazarus   April 29, 2009
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  2. @ Lazarus – Thanks for the thought-provoking comment. I added a warning atop the IBM video.

    Can you have intelligent systems without one overseeing intelligent system? Improving the welfare of companies, enterprises and businesses are the goal? What about the human enterprise?

    I’d argue that intelligence is measured on a gradual scale and does not need to be centralized. Pan-hierarchical control is a term I like to use to describe the “intelligence” on our planet. ... It seems that you see corporations as detrimental to the human enterprise. In that case you may be happy to learn about parallel trends such as the expected explosion of Open Source initiatives to counter rising business behemoths. Firefox, Wikipedia, Open Street Map will all serve the public well as alternatives when the for profits piss us off.

    As far as I can tell, amongst all the science of analytics must be some key principles about the most efficient non-component destroying polling processes, non-invasive worthwhile collaboration formulation schemes for mutual and inestimable reward perhaps, means to effectively cover perhaps all of humankind within sufficient time to come to some worthwhile mutual tasks?

    Absolutely, the concepts you list are powerful systems frameworks that can help us figure out what we’re doing, what we are, how to define intelligence, and ultimately where we’re headed. You may be interested to check out Tom Malone’s research on coordination and business centralization and decentralization cycles.

    Things do not seem to be patterned to suggest open accountability on the sources of information here on this “Future Blogger” website with this one example.

    Hope the new warning helps. I figured the video was self explanatory in its bias, but I definitely agree the IBM video interface is clunky and controlling.

    The general gist I get now is a communication that suggests we need to trust to business expertise and especially of one company, one that I could add makes a lot of money in the military field, in the field of making a killing.

    Perhaps the video suggests omnipotence for a company such as IBM. My opinion on the matter is that competing systems, large and small, conspire to form a forward positive-sum arrow of planetary evolution. Google, Microsoft, IBM, military industrial complex all have a role – but there is no central commander.

    I suggest that is what money is naturally biased to facilitate, systems that are based on some taking advantage of others.

    That’s all relative to how you view life and define taking advantage. Life is a brutal process of reproduction, spread, control, and death – with some powerful cross-species cooperation throw into the mix.

    What we use to recognize players within human society other than humans is often based on authority of power and not of reason nor intelligence.

    Experiments in other groups organisms such as fish and birds suggest that only small portions of a species lead, the others choose to follow, thus establishing a sort of computational network in which not everyone has to burn the resources (physical or cognitive) necessary to lead.

    Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men of power are almost always bad.

    Certainly there is selection pressure and a cognitive reaction to a high degree of control. How do you think Obama is handling power?

    “We have yet to learn how to retain our humaneness when assembled in masses.”

    Ideally the ongoing progress of the system will take care of that.

    me thinks it would be wise for us to approach abandoning zero-sum games with values measured via some tokens. Best we approach an all-sum game and leave the token representation of information exchanges behind. Hmmm, how to do that in a noninvasive nondestructive manner? Now there is a totally worthwhile engineering goal. Any companies up to the task?

    It does seem time for a shift to more equitable economics and tokens – super-fluid micropayments, stable international regulator, imho. ... Google & IBM are examples of companies that apply positive sum, grow the pie thinking better than most. They are not angels and play by market rules of life and death. I’d argue it’s gradual and already happening. There is always room for improvement.

    I may be missing out on something of value but right now I do not feel enticed to start the second video though it looks a lot more friendly, with the usual Youtube interface including the option to start or stop it immediately and easily.

    The second video is much shorter. :)

    Posted by: Alvis Brigis   April 29, 2009
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  3. Computational power can get you just so far. You can be able to compute any problem you want but the data that is returned might not be coherent.

    I suspect IBM is doing this an exercise to understand a better way to translate the mountain of data in databases.

    Posted by: Covus   April 30, 2009
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  4. Computational power can get you just so far. You can be able to compute any problem you want but the data that is returned might not be coherent. ... I suspect IBM is doing this an exercise to understand a better way to translate the mountain of data in databases.

    Totally agree. It’s all about hooking the mountains of increasingly structured data we have to human brains in the most efficient manner. Looks like IBM wants to compete in the search game by focusing products and prototypes on next gen strategy. The company may be Google’s biggest competitor 5 years out.

    Posted by: Alvis Brigis   April 30, 2009
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  5. Video has been switched to the shorter YouTube version.

    Posted by: Alvis Brigis   May 06, 2009
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  6. Thank you for your reply and remedial actions.

    My previous comment: “The general gist I get now is a communication that suggests we need to trust to business expertise and especially of one company, one that I could add makes a lot of money in the military field, in the field of making a killing.”

    Your reply: “Perhaps the video suggests omnipotence for a company such as IBM. My opinion on the matter is that competing systems, large and small, conspire to form a forward positive-sum arrow of planetary evolution. Google, Microsoft, IBM, military industrial complex all have a role – but there is no central commander.”

    Trial and error can lead to finding working relationships. Amongst the relationships on the planet now, some are errors that lead to negative results. That does not mean that we work to placate and sustain them as leading to positive results because we learn what is reliable by their failure. There is no central commander. That is as it should be but there is commanding principle. We need to learn from our failures and not replicate them, make something new that reflects what we have learned and holds greater potential for viability and hopefully allows us to abandon the unsustainable.

    My previous comment: “I suggest that is what money is naturally biased to facilitate, systems that are based on some taking advantage of others.”

    Your reply: “That’s all relative to how you view life and define taking advantage. Life is a brutal process of reproduction, spread, control, and death – with some powerful cross-species cooperation throw into the mix.”

    Truth is not relative. Money is not life. Perhaps you have changed the subject here because the idea that money is inherently dysfunctional is a taboo for you. Think a bit, this script from the company store (referring to nations as a form of company), it requires that you have faith in the dispensing organization, that it will give you what you need when you present the script for exchange later. We, our parents most likely, and most of those around us, have been subjected to required “education” to “ignore the man behind the curtain” and his frailties, to have blind faith in the viability of our governing experiments. We aren’t even supposed to consider them as experiments but rather as permanent viable entities that we must plan around, support and accept without question to get a slice of the pie. We are taught to be patriotic and live as well as die for the sake of the “company.”

    I see that Nazi propaganda included films and education on the cruelness of life, a social Darwinism perspective. Darwin’s theory pertains to biological systems. Social systems have yet to exhibit the acuity and efficiency of biological systems. They are not biological systems. Social Darwinism is not science.

    I realize it is common to see life as a “winner takes all” scenario, a struggle of needy entities for finite resources where some have to fail for others to win. I suspect designing social mechanisms where winners share all is the only way we can find that state of being where we continually improve and build our resources to the extent that they are unlimited and the zero-sum game world view is left behind as untenable, a self-defeating illusion. Appears that a “win-lose” paradigm for social constructs will ultimately have no winners. We are running out of time to find a solution to this challenge. Watch the weather.

    Posted by: Lazarus   June 07, 2009
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  7. Thanks for the great content

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