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Bloops: “Computer Games” (The New Yorker)

Posted by Neil Paine on February 25, 2011

After IBM's "Watson" defeated the two best human players in "Jeopardy!" history last week, The New Yorker's Robert Mankoff pondered the history of "thinking machines" -- including a cartoon from 1952 that worried about computers invading the dugout and managing baseball games (an oft-repeated fear half a century later with the dawn of the sabermetric era).

3 Responses to “Bloops: “Computer Games” (The New Yorker)”

  1. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    I remember an illustration in my 6th/7th grade math textbook of the latest "state-of-the-art" computer, which filled an entire room. Nowadays, the cheapest laptop would have far more computing power and speed than that Univac-like machine.

    On a serious note, how many current MLB managers have mentioned using advanced stats - I know that Manny Acta has referred to them...

  2. Random Sports Guy Says:

    If computers ever start managing and creating rosters within the real life game of baseball then it's safe to say the sport is dead.

  3. jess Says:

    Given all the second guessing of managers for pulling pitchers or sending up pinch hitters in certain situations couldn't you argue that computers already run the game? If managers go with their guts and not the stats (especially in the playoffs) they get reamed if things don't work out. And if they go with the stats then if something good happens (strikeout/homerun/whatever) they don't get any credit as they just did what the statistics told them to.