Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Alpha 60: The Grandfather of "Watson"?

More and more, Alphaville is proving to have been ahead of its time. The video below isn't quite Tarzan VS IBM, but it does represent the company's mission to birth a computer program that could understand language (and syntax) to make a mockery of man's ability to retain information and problem solve. Is Watson just the nucleus for an electronic supreme being? Or is it nothing more than a creation of capitalist greed? Godard may not have predicted this while filming, but the future of artificial intelligence may be less involved within a role of politics than with vaudeville entertainment. Then again, we're only in Watson's beginning stages. Whereas Alpha 60 was great as a futuristic lie detector and watch dog, Watson, remarkably similar in appearance to its "cinematic father figure", has verbal expression down pat. Of course, the human element appears to be missing in both. If anyone is wondering, Watson destroyed his mortal competitors during the week-long challenge, and the show proved to be a ratings success and a hell of an advertisement for IBM.

----Erik Luers

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