Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 6, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

WE NEED TO SPEED UP MOORE'S LAW....I just finished watching Desk Set, a Hepburn/Tracy comedy from 1957, and it left me depressed. Here we are, nearly 50 years later, and computers still can't do the things that the fictional computer in the movie did. Clearly, we suffer from an inability of computer engineers to keep up with Hollywood screenwriters.

On the other hand, at least we're finally getting close. It's required a worldwide network of millions of computers to get there, rather than a single automobile-sized machine with a couple of tape drives, but still....

POSTSCRIPT: For those who haven't seen it, the computer in question replaced um, augmented a reference department. Ask it a question, and it gave you an answer. You can kinda sorta do that with natural language processors plus an internet search engine, but not really. Maybe in another 20 years.

Kevin Drum 12:49 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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