Chris Welty Inaugural Speech – Even the changes are changing: A new era of Cognitive Computing
Watson, the computer that achieved prominence in 2011 by defeating the all time best players of the American TV quiz show Jeopardy!, was a herald of a new age. Suddenly it was possible for machines to understand us, in our own language.
In the six years since, new cognitive capabilities for machines are being announced at a dizzying pace, yet in the 60 years before Watson, computing moved comparably slowly. There are a few simple factors that have helped move us into the cognitive computing age, such as availability of data and the power of computation, but there is a deeper reason.
Artificial intelligence itself has had to change, from a view of machines as perfect rational thinkers, to an understanding that cognition is intimately tied to perception, and that therefore knowledge and reasoning is inherently subjective and ambiguous.
VU Professor of Cognitive Computing Chris Welty, one of the inventors of Watson, will reflect on this developments during his inaugural speech on May 15.