You have to adopt a sense of bemusement when looking at the huge fanfare that has greeted the announcements surrounding IBM's Watson programme. Developed originally to answer questions on the US television programme "Jeopardy," it is designed to answer questions in natural language. IBM has stood off from the whole internet thing and done not very much at all for the last fifteen years in terms of the revolution that has happened, at least in consumer facing products, then wham!, along it comes with a behemoth that will know everything about everything.
Well, it's going commercial now and it will make Siri look like a toddler finger painting compared to Rembrandt.
It's aimed at businesses to help them interact more efficiently with customers and it has to be said, it wouldn't be difficult to improve on call centres in New Delhi and Newport but we will inevitably be speaking to more machines. Just think though, what it could do for education, the mind fizzes.
Two thoughts in passing, what on earth is Paxman going to make of it on University Challenge and you don't suppose the clever geeks at IBM have just invented Skynet......... do you?