I'm curious about all the hoopla surrounding a computer's recent defeat of Jeopardy champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Lest we become too enamored with technology, we should answer a few questions. Did a machine build the computer? Did a machine program the computer? Did a machine accumulate all the knowledge that was dumped into the computer? "Watson" is nothing more than a huge collective memory bank that can retrieve stored information very efficiently. Human beings built it, human beings programmed it and thousands of human beings contributed the facts that were dumped into it. Any football team with eleven players can defeat a single star player. The much larger team opposing Jennings and Rutter naturally beat them by using the medium of admirable, but manmade technology.

Robert Christenson