Shirley, You Jest, Watson!






Watson 2

A few years ago IBM was touting their Artificial Intelligence, Watson. Then they announced that it would be focused on medicine.

This does not seem to be medicine.

Personality Insights

The IBM Watson Personality Insights service uses linguistic analytics to extract a spectrum of cognitive and social characteristics from the text data that a person generates through blogs, tweets, forum posts, and more.

I popped in these blog entries and got my results.

Name                                  Value
                  The Big 5
Openness                            91%
Adventurousness              76%
Artistic interests                  1%       One Percent! Forsooth!
Emotionality                      16%
Imagination                      92%
Intellect                              93%
Authority-challenging    90%
Conscientiousness            32%
Achievement striving       25%
Cautiousness                      58%
Dutifulness                            5%
Orderliness                           6%
Self-discipline                      7%
Self-efficacy                       44%
Extraversion                      23%
Activity level                        3%
Assertiveness                      51%
Cheerfulness                        7%
Excitement-seeking        16%
Outgoing                             5%
Gregariousness                  4%
Agreeableness                    7%
Altruism                              4%
Cooperation                      17%
Modesty                             11%
Uncompromising              5%
Sympathy                          78%
Trust                                      7%
Emotional range              48%
Fiery                                    56%
Prone to worry                  23%
Melancholy                        64%
Immoderation                   26%
Self-consciousness           23%
Susceptible to stress        16%
Challenge                           67%
Closeness                           60%
Curiosity                            60%
Excitement                        39%
Harmony                            74%
Ideal                                     31%
Liberty                                44%
Love                                     74%
Practicality                        82%
Self-expression                 24%
Stability                              54%
Structure                            56%
Conservation                     13%
Openness to change        45%
Hedonism                           15%
Self-enhancement           63%
Self-transcendence          77%


First: Artistic Interests 1 % !!

Second: I don’t see how the big five add up to FIVE. Can’t a computer count?

I’ve known adolescent girls with books on Astrology that could do a better cold reading than this. [Rachel Speare, I am talking to you.]

Perhaps Watson doesn’t get understatement.

Now, computers are good at random number generation. I could sooner believe in that.





Socially Programmed Stupidity

pc monsters

For most people most of the time thought is speech. Korzybski pointed out that sanity and intelligence were not binary conditions. You are not sane or insane – You are somewhere on a spectrum from functional to non-functional. One way to be saner and more intelligent is to think more clearly in better language. Don’t use multivalent words whose meaning can be conflated. Use more precise terms. ‘Jerry is crazy.’ is prone to misunderstanding. ‘Jerry is unconcerned about social conventions.’ actually conveys real meaning and does not not leave the impression that Jerry is taking orders from disembodied voices. Do not confuse US Dollar 1950 with Canadian Dollar 2015. They are not closely related.

If imprecision of thought makes us less able to understand and deal with the world. Thinking in more precise terms makes us smarter and more certain of what we know. Korzybski promised to make his students saner by these methods.

[At this point my mind rebels. How can I not discuss the tragic life of Count Alfred Korzybski? He was stranded in the USA when revolution and war ended his nation while he was here on a government mission. He was too old to enlist in our military and already sworn to a foreign ally which was in chaos. He developed his ideas observing in mental hospitals in New York. He had an influential if sometimes self-indulgent movement. After his death his ideas were taken by unworthy groups. Some simplified his ideas to uselessness and used them as a centerpiece of a trumped-up religion. Others used his methods not to educate, but to manipulate. One group reveres his ideas – irrationally – but can neither move nor inspire anyone. While I was writing this, I came across a parallax view. ]

The proximate motivation for this entry is a realization. An effect of ‘political correctness’ is to use ridiculously convoluted speech foisted upon us by the PL crowd. Is it possible to think coherently using these irrational definitions? I maintain that the use of PL terms is not mind control but the reduction of intelligence. A negative use of sensible methods. Sort of a neurolinguistic lobotomy.

A corollary is that those who push us to use PL speech either do not think in it themselves – and will be prone to therefore make gaffes – or they will prove to be the most impaired by irrational mental programming.

My humble hypothesis.