Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Just for Mother.

I was just looking over the comments of this interesting blog, and it seems as though the only regular person is my Mother. So this post is just for you mom!

To answer your question about my class: The class I am trying to switch in to is called 'Economics and Engineering of Electrical Power Systems' (or something like that...) It meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:20, with a recite on tuesdays at 1:30. This makes my Thursdays and Fridays rather nice, with one class Thursday morning and one meeting Friday noon-ish. I think that today I will actually be able to officially get in to it. But we will see.

Watson! Yeah! Gramps told me about this a few months ago, and I have been super stoked! For those of you who do not know about Watson: Long ago (you know.... 13 years ago) Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov. At this moment IBM decided to tackle the next big thing... beating Ken Jennings at Jeapordy. So this week the game has been aired, and CMU people are stoked. Quite a few people have worked on the project, and there are a number of tech talks and presentations. Today there is going to be a Watson -athon. They are having a viewing of the past two days, with presentations in between, ending in a live viewing of the match tonight.

As for what are my classmates thinking about it. We have been discussing it a lot in Robot Ethics as it fits very nicely with the Singularity. People are generally stoked about it, and really excited. I personally am very impressed, but feel as though they changed Jeopardy too much to really give Watson credit. Yes, it is amazing what it does, but I don't think it 'beat Jeopardy.' If it were to be a stand alone system. given all of the inputs of a normal player, then I would give it the mark of winning. I would argue that a large portion of the game is timing (look up the rules if you disagree). It was obvious that Ken knew the majority of the answers, but Watson beat him to it. I would argue not because he computed the answer faster, but because Watson (most likely) receives a signal when he can answer, where the other two players have to time it right with Trebek's ques. Again: Watson is amazing, and worth getting excited about, but he is not quite there in terms of 'beating' Jeapordy. Skanda, who is sitting next to me, disagress completly.

As for the fence: I have the pictures, it is just a bear to post them... Ill get on it soon enough.

For the rest of you: let me know if you are there!


  1. I'm here Scott! I agree that it just seems to be a timing issue that is in Watson's favor. None the less, very cool and inspiring to see what computers can do.

  2. :-) Thanks :-)
    I just check your blog a lot because it lets me feel as though we are having our dinner time conversation... you would have liked the new white chicken chili we had tonight!

    Skanda is wrong... you are right... the timing was an issue. I found it very interesting though. Computers have come a LONG way!!!

    24 hours from now I will be having Big Dog Talks... am looking forward to the original 4 and our escapades!!!

    Hope you get into the class!!! Keep us posted.

  3. after a brief vacation I'm back...


  4. for Chelsea and Caleb...

    - Maximum Flavor (Dad, what do you think?)
    take a wheel barrow! Good call.

    - Things to do
    Walk along the waterfront to see the city scape and ball parks.

    What about Warhol's Museum?




    he said, “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts.”



  6. I will confess ... I have not been very good at checking this since I saw you at our glorious family Christmas rendevous!! So sorry, I had been SO diligent in the fall .... I will try to do better.

    Unlike the rest of you, I did not catch any of Watson's debut. I had read about it in the paper a few weeks ago, but did not end up having time to tune in. After hearing the stories, I would tend to agree that there is a timing issue.

    Love you lots!!!!