Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Computer Contestant On Jeopardy

Okay, if you're wondering what Jeopardy and a computer have to do with the mind body thoughts blog, please don't think I've lost my mind! Actually when I heard that Jeopardy was doing this experiment with IBM, I was intrigued. After all, watching science push the brain and the brain push science is extremely fascinating to me. In my mind, we have not yet begun to understand all the power that the brain holds and the ability we have to impact or influence our body, our spirit, our emotions and every cell or muscle.

That is why the computer contestant on Jeopardy, Watson, created by IBM and aired on 2/15/11, really caught my attention. To accomplish this, researchers had to go in and think about every possible piece of information that was needed to make this happen. They had to go in and design a computer network system that could handle all of this with lightening speed. Then, they had to bring this all together so it could receive communication and respond back with quick speed an in an appropriate manner. Just to think of all the parts of this that went in to develop and create this is mind boggling in itself. I have a computer background so I truly understand a lot of what had to happen here to make this thing work.

Here's a video clip on YouTube about this episode on Jeopardy that explains much more about it.

We as humans are said to only use 10% of our brains at most but in many ways, this is a myth. If we did not use parts of our brain, they would cease to function and die off from what I understand of the brain. The trick though in harnessing the brain is through our evolution and awareness of our consciousness. The more we are aware of intricate parts of our self and the more we understand about our consciousness, the more we harness our brain.

Most humans go through life only using logical nerve synapses to deduce what facts are presented to us in order to create a dictated reality. Hopefully I didn't lose anyone on that statement and if I did, just go back and reread that statement more carefully. To simplify what I am saying, here is another take on that. We often use the busy part of our brain that helps us take care of tasks in our day from appointments and reminders on our to do list, to analyzing data to make decisions, to taking care of business and just making our lives happen. However, we miss one important part of our life so often and it is the part that gives us our human qualities and takes us from just being a biological organism to an individual with unlimited possibilities.

That part of our life is consciousness. Consciousness is a result of discovery and travel into all areas of our life through questioning, challenge and acceptance. It is about becoming all we can become. Like Watson, the IBM computer contestant on Jeopardy, we have great potential but if we sit on a network rack with a power plug connected but we are not being developed, than we are nothing more than electrical impulses. We need to strive further to be more than a Watson and that is where the human brain and the mind/body connection play a significant role.

We have so much more potential within us to sense, feel and understand what is going on around us. There are higher brain functions that are developed in the prefrontal cortex as the consciousness of a human is developed and nurtured. When we work to discover these parts of our self, we offer ourselves so much more that the mundane daily activities will never be able to give us.

By connecting our mind and body together and connecting what we feel to what we are experiencing, we truly give ourselves much more than what Watson will ever begin to give himself. Consciousness does not come from some cerebral new age practice but it comes from connecting our mind and the felt sense in our body together. It is at that point that the synapse of so much more in life becomes visible. The more visible it becomes, the more aware the person is of unlimited possibility, potential and evolution.

Let us realize that this experiment with IBM and Jeopardy is a window into the potential of where we can go. Imagine many years ago when Jeopardy started in 1964, the personal computer was hardly even a dream. At that time, if you would have said that a computer contestant named Watson was going to be a contestant on Jeopardy, you probably would have gotten laughed out of the building. Yet, 47 years later, what was once considered unfathomable is now reality.

My question to everyone reading this and to myself is, how far will we be in the next 47 years? What do we consider impossible today that will be considered reality tomorrow? Let's tie that into our brain and ask where our civilization will be in 47 years? Will we look back at our current moments and view us as being primitive in how we think and view our mind, our body and the world around us? It is hard to sit here and write about what things will look like in another 50 or 100 years but if our past is any indication, I'm sure no one will be able to predict what lies ahead.

May we all continue to discover our true potential and our unlimited possibilities. May we continue to become more aware of all parts of ourselves and evolve into a greater consciousness, conquering our fears and truly learning what it means to be human and to live as a human in our body. Let us not stop when we think we found the edge of all that there is but let us travel beyond those moments and truly discover the unseen.

For Further Information:
1) Prefrontal Cortex Functions
2) Jeopardy, America's Favorite Quiz Show
3) IBM, Watson and Jeopardy
4) YouTube Jeopardy And IBM Watson Challenge

Blog Post & Images (c) 2/15/11 Don Shetterly - use by permission only

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