Humans Vs. Machines

Can Humans outperform the newest technology?

Many of you might have seen the recent Jeopardy episodes that featured Watson, IBM’s super computer who was up against the two all-time winners and super human minds of Jeopardy Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings.

In the end, Watson dominated his two super intelligent counterparts.  But what is to be said of the ingenuity that made Watson possible?  Who created Watson? Can we suppose that, as of now, we humans have nothing to worry about as we are the creators/inventors of such technology?  Perhaps when our creations start creating (not to be confused with thinking) for themselves, then we should be worried.

Here is a perfect example of the efficiency of the human mind over technology:  Thermal cameras are a new wave in national security.  Many airports are implementing them in an effort to pick up on deception.  This  device detects the rise in skin temperature, which can be an indication of deception.

An article in the Calgary Herald reported that researchers, (whose research is published in the Journal of Law and Behavior),  found that thermal imaging at an airport correctly identified 64 percent of truth tellers and 69 percent of liars.  However, interviewers outperformed their technologically advanced counterparts by identifying 72 percent of truth-tellers and 77 percent of liars.

These results suggest that at this moment in time, devices are actually less accurate than human perception.

The study’s co-author, Ronald Fisher, a cognitive psychologist and interrogation expert noted, “One of the major advantages of thermal imaging, if it can be demonstrated to be effective, is that it’s a less invasive procedure.  The question is whether it discriminates between liars and truth-tellers at a high enough level.  The data right now is not very encouraging.”

See a short clip of Watson on Jeopardy below:

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