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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Remember IBM'S Watson, the best darn computer who ever won on Jeopardy?

What ever happened to him/her/it? Is Watson (called he for ease of writing) perhaps just a dejected, down-on-his-luck blue bucket of bolts (or whatever those things are) who has already had his 15 minutes of fame... perhaps now homeless and broke, a helpless oilaholic who holds a sign on the freeway ramp that says "Will compute for data."

Well, not exactly. Watson, with his incredible memory bank and quick-as-a-wink buzzer response, has held a job in the medical field these past few years helping clinicians diagnose ailments... and then, finding financial products for bankers to recommend. He sounds like my Uncle Gus who flitted from job to job too.

Emma Watson
You should know that Watson comes from a good family. His mother board, if I have this straight, is the famous and attractive Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame. That's where he gets his good looks.

And, as age is no barrier in computerdom and all pairings are merged across the internet, his father board is the brilliant Dr. Watson who, many say, is the brains behind Sherlock Holmes. Watson always pushed Holmes to the front because taller men always make a better first impression.
Dr. Watson

With programing like this, you would know that IBM's Watson would find his true calling and be brilliant. He has and he is.  Watson is now a top notch customer service person... you know, like the one who answers when you, angry or frustrated, call 800-what's your beef.  He answers in a voice that sounds like it may come from India (to instill confidence). Watson actually has many dialects and can tell a mean Irish joke as if it was Paddy O'Malley himself... "Two Irishmen and a horse go into a bar, you see..." Indian jokes are not funny.

IBM Watson is patient, understanding and knowledgeable, He knows all the necessary things to fulfill any consumer need. He has but one teensy-weensy flaw... Because he was made for Jeopardy, you must first give Watson the answer and he will respond in the form of a question.

So you call that 800 number and say: "Hello. I first remove the outer shell, being careful to unplug my toaster before I start. Then I unscrew heating element A and check the fuse. If the fuse is broken, I go to my hardware store and buy 1 (one) AA3, toaster-type replaceable fuse, install it in slot c and reassemble. If, when I try my toaster, it blows the circuit that powers my father's iron lung, I will then turn on the auxiliary power source before the iron lung shuts down, then re-install the fuse correctly, switch the power on again, put the toaster back together and I'm set for many more years of satisfying toast."

Watson's first child
And Watson smartly says: How do I fix my x*&%# stupid Burnalot Toaster if it won't make toast?"

So you see, problem solved. Or, as C-3PO would say: "We're doomed."

PS: True story... about Watson, that is.
Just a few boring details left out. And that 
India thing... everyone knows Indian jokes are real killers.

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