Monday, March 14, 2011

45th Anniversary of Weizenbaum's Eliza and IBM Watson success

Happy 45th birthday ELIZA!

I've been meaning to post a message here since IBM Watson's remarkable question-answer success last month in the US TV general knowledge quiz show Jeopardy! This is IBM's second man vs machine success, previously by Deep Blue in chess against Gary Kasparov in 1997.

45 years ago in January 1966, Joseph Weizenbaum unveiled the first computer programme, ELIZA, permitting communication between a human and a machine. The interaction used the text-based medium, which Alan Turing had proposed in 1950 as a means to examine whether a machine could think.

What is thinking? If you want to know, watch Watson's February 2011 performance against two humans in Jeopardy!

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