So I'm sitting here watching the women's finals of the U.S. Open (tennis, not golf; i.e. the boring stuff, not the really boring stuff! ;). BTW, in the men's finals tomorrow, world ranked #1 and #2 are playing each other, unsurprisingly. But on the women's side, #1 and #2 lost in the semis to #26 and an unranked player.
This would be unheard of on the men's side, because 1) there's a significant difference between a top 3 and a top 10 ranked player, let alone a top 30 player, and 2) they're a hell of a lot more consistent; excepting Serena Williams (who looks to be part man herself, BTW!), the women flop around from #1 to nobodies, like musical chairs.
Anyways, both of these players have never been to the finals of a grand slam (I guess one of the big* four tournaments of tennis in a year) before, and for such people nerves can be a factor, typically, and to some degree. This is broad generalizing [pun not intended :)] just assuming this much, which leads me to the point of my JE.
*I think I heard last night that the winner's payout was now up to $3.3 mil.
IBM is one of the sponsors of the tourney, and they're always trying to reinforce their marketing angle of being thought of for data analytics, and they had a feature during a pause where the sports announcers told us that nerves would affect one of the players 55% to 45% for the other player.
WTF?!? It boggles the mind to imagine just how impressive in number and cocksurety the assumptions must have been that went into such a concoction.
But we believe that computers are impartial, and don't(/can't) lie, so it must be true. What people don't know of course is that, assuming a bug-free implementation of a model, the output is only as trustworthy as both the model and the data.
I tell my non-technical extended family members that computers are not magical soothsayers, they can only, basically, do what they're told to do. And a computer model is just, broadly-speaking [there I go again], telling the computer what to do with the data.
It may be more data than a human being can readily sift through to determine what their assumptions would amount to, but that's all the computer does, takes human beings' assumptions about things, and crunches data sets, small or large, in terms of them.
So the tennis match is over now. They announced the winner does indeed get $3.3 mil. And she announced that she's retiring. People were shocked to hear this, apparently even her coach. But she's 33 years old, which is prime retirement age from the game. And she has a fiance, so she probably wants to start a family, as most women do.
She said she's known the fellow Italian she played against today since they first played at about age 9. So she's had a long career, and even though she also said after the match that she made the decision to retire after this tournament a month ago, she might have been thinking about retiring soon anyways. And the why not go out on this high. But did IBM's Watson, Tennis Version*, know all of this? She probably wasn't hardly nervous at all, given all of that.
*They've been advertising versions of "Watson" for health care data and other areas, in addition to the Jeopardy version that originally made the name famous.
p.s. I just sprouted an "eye migraine" (a painless, developing "shimmering" in my direct field of vision, in both eyes/in my brain) a few minutes ago, so apologies if some of my last few edits are mangled.