Sunday, June 20, 2010

This will Change our World

Hello Hal.
Hello Mugaz reader.

Imagine a scenario where your computer knows who you are and can answer any question you ask. Think it's 100 years in the future?

Think again. IBM has developed Watson, a computer which can compete against past winners in Jeopardy! And it's not doing poorly. In fact, it can take the Jeopardy question "A ‘Green Acres’ star goes existential (& French) as the author of ‘The Fall" and return Who is Eddie Albert Camus. Not in minutes, and not like Google which returns similar pages where you might find the answer. You get the answer in seconds. The potential for this is enormous, and if you want to know what the future looks like, read this article.

And then there's the Kinect, the soon to be release Microsoft gaming system which recognizes faces (and motions of players). It can log you into your system and queue up your world without you ever entering a password.

What this means is that in the not-too-distant future, you'll be able to logon to a computer and have the computer recognize you. It will bring up your medical history and combine it with all of its knowledge on symptoms and probabilities of your condition, then render a diagnosis on the spot. Add Netflix-like shipping of medications, and the doctor is the next horse and buggy. And this isn't science fiction.

In 1981 Time named the computer the machine of the year and it was no mystery what was about to change us in the 1980s. I suspect Watson should be this years' machine of the year, for he will certainly change our world.

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