Friday, February 25, 2011

Watson buys a boat

Hello Mr. Installer, My name is Watson, and I need some help to buy a boat.
I would be pleased to help you buy a boat Watson. Boats are expensive, do you have any money?
Yes I have money, I just won a quiz show on TV, and my parents are also very rich.
Okay Watson, what kind of boat do you want to buy?
I want to buy a good boat with my money.
How do you define "Good" Watson?
It must be well designed, and very easy to maintain. It should be made of materials that will not rust or corrode. I also want all CAD, wiring diagrams, and a complete bill of materiels to come with it.
Ahem. This may not be an easy boat to find Watson. Boats are not easy to maintain, and you do not get wiring diagrams, or other technical information about most boats when you buy them.
Why are boats so difficult to maintain Mr. Installer?
I think the problem is that the designers never have to fix, or install things on them, or they wouldn't design them that way, and the marketing departments try to jam to much equipment into too small of a space. I think all designers should spend a year working for one of their bigger dealers. The end result would be better boats, but alas Watson, that is not likely to happen.
That is non sequitur Mr. Installer, why would someone buy a boat that is hard to maintain?
I think that often buyers just don't know any better. They are not as smart as you are Watson. By the way, you're a pretty big guy, you will need a very large boat.
Yes I am big. I am about the size of ten food cooling appliances, but I plan to use tele-presence to run my new boat. I want to feel the atmosphere flowing over my sensors.
Ah,  elementary my dear Watson, I may be able to help you after all. Take a look at this boat Watson.
I like this boat very much. I will communicate with the designer. Ha Ha Mr. Installer, "What is a literary reference from the Sherlock Holmes books".
You're very smart Watson, your parents must be very proud.
My parents are very proud of me. Thank you Mr. Installer.
My pleasure Watson.

The photograph of "Spin", the robotic sail boat was taken by its builder Chris Miller who is currently adapting some of "Spin's" technology for the Emirates Team New Zealand America cup challenge. Thank you Chris, it is the perfect boat for Watson.

You can learn more about Robotic sailboats at the Microtransat competition website.

The Avatar is Watson's and is no doubt the property of IBM, so don't yell at me, I was nice to Watson.

A little side note about Watson. What you saw on Jeopardy, other than witnessing the fact Alex Trebek can also be condescending to computers, was a huge move forward in the area of Natural Speech by computers. Unlike early Chatterbots like Eliza  Watson truly has an understanding of speech nuances like puns,  metaphors, et al. I think Watson is very close to passing the famous "Turing Test". I was amazed at the capabilities Watson had.