Watson has been programmed to play Jeopardy. Not a Google search type of thing; Watson has been filled with knowledge and programmed to interpret the clues and come up with answers. He is also programmed to know what he knows and know what he doesn't. He will not try to answer unless he is sure. He selects categories and makes informed decisions on wagering. In short, Watson thinks. He thinks well, too. After one round of play, Watson is tied for the lead. He has made some bonehead mistakes, but it is still scary.
Artificial intelligence has made a huge leap forward here. It is now a much smaller leap to searching for Sarah Conner and attempting to kill Dave and his palls on their mission to Jupiter. I know that the evil computer trope has been done until it is tired, but this isn't science fiction. This is reality. I worry about anything or anyone that can think but not feel. Maybe Watson and his positronic brain will never be a threat to humanity and will follow the three laws of robotics. I bet it could quote the three laws but doubt he was programmed to obey them.
So this week we make a huge step forward. Maybe it is a step to future and maybe it is a step to being enslaved as biological batteries, but science is not going backwards with this. Whatever is going to happen has now been set into motion. I for one bow down to my new computer overlord.
Be sure to watch Watson in action on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week on Jeopardy. Watch as humanity becomes obsolete.