Cognitive Computing: Life Imitates Popular Culture

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The pivotal moment in The Imitation Game when viewers knew that Alan Turing and his MI6 colleagues were going to win the day was also the moment they saw the first foreshadowing of cognitive computing—where processes were developed that used a hybrid of man and machine to attack problems beyond the understanding of either.

Turing, the subject of the movie and the book by the same name, was the first to theorize that machines would someday become intelligent. In the subsequent six decades, television, books and movies have reflected popular culture’s underlying fascination with—and fear of—intelligent machines. Skynet tries to kill off the human race in the Terminator movies. The Machines enslave in The Matrix trilogy. WOPR almost starts a thermonuclear war in WarGames, and in A.I., David, the child robot, has a slavish devotion to his human mother that almost results in him killing her human son.

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The above article was written by Evelyn L. Kent; it appears in the issue May 2015, [Vol 24, Issue 4]


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