Tag Archives: Joshua Blue

Why is IBM’s WATSON – named WATSON? “It’s Elementary, My Dear Watson”

I was having a moment to critically think about IBM’s new Jeopardy playing supercomputer and realised some quite interesting.

Jeopardy! is an American game show featuring trivia in history, literature, the arts, pop culture, science, sports, geography, wordplay, and more. The show has a unique answer-and-question format in which contestants are presented with clues in the form of answers, and must phrase their responses in question form.

The basic function of WATSON, is to process data and generate questions. Computers usually answer questions. They take input and calculate a yes or no answer. WATSON asks questions. It has to, to be able to determine whether or not its answer is correct on the game show.

Using the story of Sherlock Holmes and his pal Watson, one could compare their combined detective prowess with the functionality of the human brain. Each Character represents a hemisphere of the brain.

The usual dialogue between these two individuals usually goes down like this:

Watson: “But how did “<example >> do this?”

(right hemisphere)
*creative idea generator

Sherlock: “It’s Elementary, My Dear Watson”

(left hemisphere)
*logic calculator

Using this basic dialogue example, and hopefully your child hood memories of Sherlock Holmes, you can see the basic relationship between the two halves of your brain.


Why you should listen to her:

One morning, a blood vessel in Jill Bolte Taylor’s brain exploded. As a brain scientist, she realized she had a ringside seat to her own stroke. She watched as her brain functions shut down one by one: motion, speech, memory, self-awareness …

Amazed to find herself alive, Taylor spent eight years recovering her ability to think, walk and talk. She has become a spokesperson for stroke recovery and for the possibility of coming back from brain injury stronger than before. In her case, although the stroke damaged the left side of her brain, her recovery unleashed a torrent of creative energy from her right. From her home base in Indiana, she now travels the country on behalf of the Harvard Brain Bank as the “Singin’ Scientist.”

“How many brain scientists have been able to study the brain from the inside out? I’ve gotten as much out of this experience of losing my left mind as I have in my entire academic career.”

Jill Bolte Taylor



On February 10, 1996, Deep Blue became the first machine to win a chess game against a reigning world champion (Garry Kasparov) under regular time controls. However, Kasparov won three and drew two of the following five games, beating Deep Blue by a score of 4–2 (wins count 1 point, draws count ½ point). The match concluded on February 17, 1996.

Deep Blue was then heavily upgraded (unofficially nicknamed “Deeper Blue”)[11] and played Kasparov again in May 1997, winning the six-game rematch 3½–2½, ending on May 11. Deep Blue won the deciding game six after Kasparov made a mistake in the opening, becoming the first computer system to defeat a reigning world champion in a match under standard chess tournament time controls.

The system derived its playing strength mainly out of brute force computing power. It was a massively parallel, RS/6000 SP Thin P2SC-based system with 30-nodes, with each node containing a 120 MHz P2SC microprocessor for a total of 30, enhanced with 480 special purpose VLSI chess chips. Its chess playing program was written in C and ran under the AIX operating system. It was capable of evaluating 200 million positions per second, twice as fast as the 1996 version. In June 1997, Deep Blue was the 259th most powerful supercomputer according to the TOP500 list, achieving 11.38 GFLOPS on the High-Performance LINPACK benchmark.

WATSON is the RIGHT hemisphere of Joshua Blue’s brain. The LEFT hemisphere is Deep Blue.



Project Joshua Blue is an IBM project with the goal of enhancing artificial intelligence through the development of better common sense reasoning, natural language understanding, and emotional intelligence capacities.


This paper contrasts the implementation of motivation and emotion in Project Joshua Blue with current approaches such as Breazeal’s (2001) sociable robots. Differences in our implementation support our different goals for model performance and are made possible by a novel system architecture.

Overview of Joshua Blue
Project Joshua Blue applies ideas from complexity theory and evolutionary computational design to the simulation of mind on a computer. The goal is to enhance artificial intelligence by evolving such capacities as common sense reasoning, natural language understanding, and emotional intelligence, acquired in the same manner as humans acquire them, through learning situated in a rich environment.


Project Joshua Blue: Design considerations for evolving an emotional mind in a simulated environment. N Alvarado, S Adams, S Burbeck, C Latta, Proceedings of the 2001 AAAI Fall Symposium Emotional and …, 2001 – aaai.org.

WOW, that is comforting, almost like this youtube video.

and this one:

Notice the screencap below, as soon as the man boards the ship, he immediately heads to dismantle the LOGIC part of HAL‘s personality.

For more reading about Kubrick’s film 2001:  A Space Oddessey, watch the clip below, Joshua Blue was mention @ the 2001 AAAI Fall Symposium

Project Joshua Blue & Diffuse Artificial Thought

“The advancement of techniques propel us toward the third step in the Blue Beam Project that goes along with the telepathic and electronically augmented two-way communication where ELF, VLF and LF waves will reach each person from within his or her own mind, convincing each of them that their own god is speaking to them from the very depths of their own soul. Such rays from satellites are fed from the memories of computers that have stored massive data about every human on earth, and their languages. The rays will then interlace with their natural thinking to form what we call diffuse artificial thought.”

So how could that be possible you ask? Easy. Enter Project Joshua Blue, currently under development by our favourite business machines company, IBM. Joshua Blue is a program with the stated goal of “Evolving an Emotional Mind in a Simulated Environment”, “to enhance artificial intelligence by evolving such capacities as common sense reasoning, natural language understanding, and emotional intelligence, acquired in the same manner as humans acquire them, through learning situated in a rich environment.”

This is software that is capable of learning and developing ’emotions’ according to a related document “Feeling Fabricated: Artificial Emotion“. Parts of this project involve the development of Joshua so that emotion is part of it’s reasoning and these guidelines are being followed: Naturalness and believability, social effectiveness, and meaningfulness of displays to human observers. In fact, the main goal of Joshua Blue is to achieve cognitive flexibility that approaches human functioning. In other words – this is artificial intelligence that could be diffused with our own thought because it has been designed to ‘think like a human’.

A computer program which can read silently spoken words by analysing nerve signals in our mouths and throats, has been developed by NASA. In my previous post I outlined the technology that exists. In 1994, the brain wave patterns of 40 subjects were officially correlated with both spoken words and silent thought. This was achieved by a neurophysiologist, Dr Donald York, and a speech pathologist, Dr Thomas Jensen, from the University of Missouri. They clearly identified 27 words / syllables in specific brain wave patterns and produced a computer program with a brain wave vocabulary. It does not take much thinking to realise that the US agencies have access to a perfected version of this technology. In fact the relevant computers have a vocabulary in excess of 60,000 words and cover most languages. In fact, the NSA’s signals intelligence monitor the brainwaves of their targets by satellite and decode the evoked potentials (3.50Hz 5 milliwatts) that the brain emits. So, using lasers / satellites and high-powered computers the agencies have now gained the ability to decipher human thoughts – and from a considerable distance (instantaneously).

With these seemingly far fetched technologies in mind, althought evidently not so far fetched, also consider this final one. Silent subliminal presentation system: A communication system in which non aural carriers (in the very low or high audio frequency range or the ultrasonic frequency spectrum) are amplified or frequency modulated with the desired “intelligence”, and propagated acoustically or vibrationally for inducement directly into the brain. This can be done “live” or recorded/stored on magnetic, mechanical or optical media for delayed/repeated transmission to the target. Sound can also be induced by radiating the head with microwaves (in the range 100 to 10,000 mhz) that are modulated with a waveform consisting of frequency modulated bursts. HAARP of course is going to be handling all the microwaves.

BlueBrainKnowing all of this, Joshua Blue could in fact be being fed with your personal data (facebook, myspace, medical records, driving records, police records, shopping records etc.) and could be simultaniously extracting your actual, real time thought processes. It could then calculate alternate thought trains and depending on the ‘mission’, it could distract you, lead you to the wrong conclusions or drive you insane. It could even manage to make you convince yourself that yes, aliens truly are invading or Jesus really is talking to you from the clouds. With all the data we put out into the internet about ourselves through MSN, I’m 100% certain ‘they’ know how we talk and therefore how we think. This is way too feasible for me to be comfortable. If the thought that was generated artificially by the computer was so accurately precise how could you reasonably differentiate from AI and your own thought? This scares me.

Joshua Blue is specifically being designed to handle emotions, so thought patterns and logically chosen emotions to compliment them are going to be very hard to overcome if this were to go live. I really do hope this is just a figment of my imagination, this technology is right in front of our eyes how ever so I’m going to have an extremely tough time convincing myself otherwise.