Watson, the ATM, and the Miami Heat

Recently, Watson defeated its human competitors on the game show Jeopardy!.

If it would have lost, it would not have mattered.

For one thing, if there are only two humans that can beat the computer, then we’ve lost.

But, more importantly, Watson’s potential is unlimited.

Recently, I have been feeling like humanity is doomed. Our potential is — officially — unlimited, but given that there is a history for humanity that stretches back millennia, well, I don’t feel so optimistic when I think about our future. And if you refuse to accept evolution, then you’d have to agree that we’re especially stagnant.

So no wonder we’re trading people for machines.

Their potential is much more impressive than ours.

How irritating is it that every time I go to the bank, I go inside to deal with a human bank teller. I feel like telling her, “by coming in here, I am increasing the statistics that allow you to have a job.” And every time, the teller tells me about the glories of the ATM machine (even though the ATM is outside, and it’s winter. “But it’s better!”).

I just watched the Heat play against the Spurs on ESPN.

I use the word ‘play’ but I mean “play.”

The Spurs smoked the Heat, winning by 30 points.

The thing about the Miami Heat is that they haven’t been playing very well (though they are still third in the East).

Fortunately, it doesn’t matter.

As far as fans and commentators are concerned, the Heat’s potential is unlimited. If a rookie team makes the playoffs, their lack of testing is a risk. When the Heat make the playoffs, most people will give them the Watson factor. The Heat haven’t been tested as a team in playoffs, which means they could do anything.

They’re (only) human.

I cheer against the Heat, but it’s good to know that some people still associate a sense of unlimited potential with humanity.

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2 Responses to “Watson, the ATM, and the Miami Heat”

  1. You should delete this post. Your future robot overlords might see it and peg you as a troublemaker. Didn’t you learn anything from The Terminator movies and the Battlestar: Galactica reboot?

    (Just kidding. If the robots start causing trouble, we can take out their batteries.)

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