Ask A Genius 553 – Machine Learning as Early A.I.

In-Sight Publishing June 22, 2020

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, you wanted to talk about IBM’s Watson and Google Translate. What about them?

Rick Rosner: Both of them are machine learning – which is another term for A.I. – associational engines. Watson get a Jeopardy question entered into him/typed into him. Based on the words and the relationships of the words in the questions generates in a fraction of a second, a set of possible answers wih each one ranked in terms of probability of being correct.

If one of them hits above some threshold, maybe 80/90% of being correct, Watson will ring in with that answer. All this happened not too long ago. Since then, Watson has been sold to IBM’s clients as some kind of search engine or association engine.

My question, “How conscious, if at all, are machine learning, association engines like these?” I started reading an article that was from a journal titled something like ‘What is it like to be Watson?’ I started reading it.

The article turned out to be crap. The discussion focused on, “What is it to be human?” I am interested in what it is to be conscious. I looked up the name of the journal. It is the ‘American Journal of Behaviourism’ or something. It shocked me.

Behaviourism is some movement in psychology from the 1930s that it was too hard to figure out what is actually going on in the brain, so that movement decided to just look at thought and animals and humans in terms of behaviours. “We’ll leave the brain as a black box.”

It was the scientific equivalent of throwing up your hands and saying, “Fuck it!” It is surprising as we have increasingly advanced tools to look inside the brain on a fraction of a second basis. So, that was a garbage article.

But you can ask in a more legitimate way, ‘What makes consciousness conscious?’

Jacobsen: Also, what makes the non-conscious crucial to the conscious?

Rosner: Yes. Consciousness is built out of non-conscious building blocks. It’s got a physical basis. That is the processes that go on in the brain and some people like to argue that consciousness resides within certain structures within neurons. I find that to be a garbage theory.

Anyway. You look at human consciousness. Human consciousness is judge-y. That is, the events that happen o human consciousness and sensory input is judged according to a bunch of criteria, but, maybe, most importantly whether what is going on is good or bad for the human and whether the human being likes it.

So, there’s judging, pleasure, and pain. I find those hard to incorporate into consciousness. But I think the key for everything in consciousness is to see how it works associatively because you’re not conscious of anything.

Unless, it enters into an associative arena, where it can trigger a sensory event.

[End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner

American Television Writer


(Updated July 25, 2019)

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.*

According to some semi-reputable sources gathered in a listing hereRick G. Rosner may have among America’s, North America’s, and the world’s highest measured IQs at or above 190 (S.D. 15)/196 (S.D. 16) based on several high range test performances created by Christopher HardingJason BettsPaul Cooijmans, and Ronald Hoeflin. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writers Guild Awards and Emmy nominations, and was titled 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Directory with the main “Genius” listing here.

He has written for Remote ControlCrank YankersThe Man ShowThe EmmysThe Grammys, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He worked as a bouncer, a nude art model, a roller-skating waiter, and a stripper. In a television commercialDomino’s Pizza named him the “World’s Smartest Man.” The commercial was taken off the air after Subway sandwiches issued a cease-and-desist. He was named “Best Bouncer” in the Denver Area, Colorado, by Westwood Magazine.

Rosner spent much of the late Disco Era as an undercover high school student. In addition, he spent 25 years as a bar bouncer and American fake ID-catcher, and 25+ years as a stripper, and nearly 30 years as a writer for more than 2,500 hours of network television. Errol Morris featured Rosner in the interview series entitled First Person, where some of this history was covered by Morris. He came in second, or lost, on Jeopardy!, sued Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? over a flawed question and lost the lawsuit. He won one game and lost one game on Are You Smarter Than a Drunk Person? (He was drunk). Finally, he spent 37+ years working on a time-invariant variation of the Big Bang Theory.

Currently, Rosner sits tweeting in a bathrobe (winter) or a towel (summer). He lives in Los AngelesCalifornia with his wife, dog, and goldfish. He and his wife have a daughter. You can send him money or questions at LanceVersusRick@Gmail.Com, or a direct message via Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn, or see him on YouTube.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Founder, In-Sight Publishing


In-Sight Publishing

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight Publishing and Editor-in-Chief of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal (ISSN 2369-6885). Jacobsen works for science and human rights, especially women’s and children’s rights. He considers the modern scientific and technological world the foundation for the provision of the basics of human life throughout the world and the advancement of human rights as the universal movement among peoples everywhere.


[1] Four format points for the session article:

  1. Bold text following “Scott Douglas Jacobsen:” or “Jacobsen:” is Scott Douglas Jacobsen & non-bold text following “Rick Rosner:” or “Rosner:” is Rick Rosner.
  2. Session article conducted, transcribed, edited, formatted, and published by Scott.
  3. Footnotes & in-text citations in the interview & references after the interview.
  4. This session article has been edited for clarity and readability.

For further information on the formatting guidelines incorporated into this document, please see the following documents:

  1. American Psychological Association. (2010). Citation Guide: APA. Retrieved from
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License and Copyright


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at and


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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