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November 21, 2014

IBM building computer designed to take over Jeopardy!, then possibly the world

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 28th 2009 10:00AM
The femputer from Fox's Oh my God. Maybe the Unabomber was right, about how technology could weaken humanity and destroy us all. Not about sending bombs in the mail. That was and always will be a big no-no.

IBM is developing a new computer system that can compete on TV's Jeopardy! by digesting the show's questions, buzzing in and answering in the famous question format.

The system is being developed in the same vein as "Deep Blue," the computer that defeated chess champion Gary Kasparov. The Jeopardy! system nicknamed "Watson" is part of IBM's ongoing attempt to overtake humanity by whooping humanity's ass at their own games. An IBM spokesman estimated humanity's spirit will finally be broken when they perfect a computer system that can beat the world's greatest Chutes and Ladders player.

The system won't just be a giant almanac that can spew out the answer to any potent potable Alex Trebek can throw at him. The system has to process the answer and conduct a comprehensive search of its database to determine the answer. Some of the questions also deal with puns and the computer will have to adapt its database to those categories. It also has to buzz in before the other contestants, phrase the answer correctly and deal with the crushing humiliation of being corrected for not answering in the form of a question that comes Alex's right cross of "Oh, sorry."

"Watson" is destined to make an appearance on a future episode, but IBM and Sony Pictures aren't talking about when that will be or who the computer's competition will be. Oh please God, let it be Steve Jobs.

Jeopardy! hasn't instituted many sweeping changes or any major ones that have messed with its classic format, but it has found some interesting ways to update the show to keep it from growing too stale, such as specialty categories, increased winnings and ultimate tournaments. If such a show makes it to the airwaves, it quite possibly could be the show's most interesting development and scarily entertaining television moment in my lifetime.

That is until science can create a monkey that can compete as a contestant. I'm warning you. Get your paws off our buzzers, you damn dirty apes!

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tingrin87

is that picture from Futurama? (possibly part of the Fem-Puter?)

April 28 2009 at 10:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tingrin87's comment
tingrin87

mmhm, just looked at the image URL (was going to ask someone else) it's called femputer.jpg

April 28 2009 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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