Garry Kasparov: Watson Is A Kid’s Toy
By Daniel Long
February 24, 2011 at 12:46 PM

World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov knows a thing or two about defending his pride against game playing computers. He also has a thing or two to say about Watson, that Jeopardy beating robot that nobody likes to invite to parties.

His comments, published in The Atlantic are not surprising and certainly a tad bitter when you consider IBM’s Big Blue humiliated the chess player in a six game defeat in 1997. Basically, his comments go something like this: Watson is a child’s toy, all these computer tournaments should be disregarded and the technologies have little scientific value. No, definitely no sign of bitterness at all.

Kasparov is quick to dismiss the technological achievements of Watson’s game winning powers, comparing its computational brain to that of an 18th century wind-up tool, telling the Atlantic:

“If the result—the chess move, the Jeopardy answer—is all that matters, it’s a success. If how the result is achieved matters more, I’m not so sure. For example, Deep Blue had no real impact on chess or science despite the hype surrounding its sporting achievement in defeating me.If Watson’s skills can be translated into something useful, something groundbreaking, that is the test. If all it can do is beat humans on a game show Watson is just a passing entertainment akin to the wind-up automata of the 18th century.”


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