The General Counsel of IBM has some interesting thoughts about what IBM's Watson might mean to lawyers. After all, a computer that can parse human language and come up with answers to Jeopardy questions is something to take note of. Still, as IBM's Robert Weber points out Watson
“won't ever replace attorneys; after all, the essence of good lawyering is mature and sound reasoning, and there's simply no way a machine can match the knowledge and ability to reason of a smart, well-educated and deeply experienced human being.”
True, but maybe Watson can replace our TSA security system. You know, the airport security system where officials abstain from using higher-brain function in order to mindlessly apply a rulebook—which, “because it is made of paper and unalterable ink rather than of flexible human brain tissue, is incapable of discretion, compassion or humanity.”
For a better idea of what I'm talking about vis-a-vis the TSA, read Richard Dawkins blog post. Then forward a copy of his post to any government officials in favor of preserving the use of human judgment. But not these government officials.