THE way we interact with computers in our daily lives is limiting because we need to input information in such a fashion for the computer to make sense of it and to produce what we require.
When we type an enquiry into Google we are actually giving the search engine some clues of what we are looking for. It then looks for the most likely matches on the internet and then presents it to us as a list.
IBM has for many years been working on the whole idea of getting computers to make sense of a request. To actually understand what is asked and give an answer based on very complex algorithms. These algorithms actually mimic an aspect of real thought as you would find in humans. Well, as close as they can get to an artificial intelligence system anyway.
Years ago they developed a computer that was able to beat the chess masters. Nobody thought that it would ever be possible.
Now they have developed Watson – a free-standing computer system that can actually take part in a gameshow like Jeopardy (in America) and win.
The basis of this gameshow is quite complex and I think you’ll best understand by visiting the website Making sense of the questions and giving the answers in the correct form is quite a leap forward.
Needless to say it was quite incredible when I watched the show last week and Watson was able to win.
I believe that within the next three years we will see a major change in the way we interact with our computers and also a major change in the way knowledge is organised and searched for online.
Be ready to ask a question and to get an exact answer and not a list of hundreds of options for you to choose from.
This is a major advance in analytics and system design.