Archive for February, 2011
It made my day.
… just to keep me swinging …
Ugh. Just watched The Chamber for the first time since I saw it in theatres back in 1996. I was a fan of John Grisham, with his naive, sincere young-lawyer-fighting-for-good-against-all-odds template that served him so well. His stories weren’t high literature, but they were entertaining, and they got me through many nights while treeplanting or serving some other banal summer job while I struggled through university.
But, boy oh boy, is this show awful. I remember Chris O’Donnell had so much promise ever since he starred in Dead Poet’s Society.
(What’s that you say? That was Ethan Hawke in DPS? Oh. Same difference.)
Not even the great Gene Hackman could prevent this boring, melodramatic, earnest, predictable story.
So … yeah. Crappy movie.
That’s all I have to say about that.
Been watching Ken Jennings get slammed by Deep Blue or whatever that monster IBM supercomputer is called on Jeopardy? Of course you have.
Others have too. And now the talk is all about whether computers have passed humans at that theoretical point known as “singularity”:
Is it silly to ask if Watson’s Jeopardy win is The Singularity? Maybe.
Er, no. As every Jeopardy fan will tell you, the best players aren’t always simply the most brilliant (although Jennings is pretty close to genius as one can get) but they are also the best at buzzing in.
In one episode, Jennings beat the computer to the buzzer maybe five times (probably less) and answered every question correctly. If he would have had the super-ability to react to the question as fast as the computer, there’s no question that the game would have been a lot closer. It was the buzz — not the lack of knowledge — that allowed the computer to kick nerd tail.
So, again, the answer is ‘no’. We are not close to singularity. Not yet.
Makes for entertaining TV though, don’t it?