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July 26, 2014

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TV 101: Rise of the Machines?

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Feb 16th 2011 2:00PM
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As you may or may not know, brainiacs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter (uber-nerds sent here from another planet to embarrass earthlings on 'Jeopardy!') are currently embroiled in a cross-species test of intellect, facing off against the IBM supercomputer, Watson.

Yes, we've reached a point in our culture that robots and machines should be considered another species altogether. On the surface, this might seem like just another TV gimmick designed to draw in viewers -- no different than a "very special" episode of 'Two and a Half Men' or those "Who can eat more hot dogs -- a fat guy or a bear being starved in captivity?" shows -- a closer look reveals a competition, the implications of which could fundamentally alter the course of humanity.

The future of mankind may basically come down to a Daily Double about President Van Buren.

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Supercomputer Watson Battles 'Jeopardy!' Champs (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 14th 2011 11:18PM
IBM's Watson, 'Jeopardy'IBM's artificial intelligence software took on a major challenge starting today, as it appeared alongside two of the best players ever on the 'Jeopardy!' (Weeknights, 7PM ET on ABC) stage. It was a test of the program's abilities to respond to natural language questions, and one of the final chapters in its journey toward completion.

It took several years to get Watson to a point where it could answer questions quickly enough to even compete on the show, but audiences were delighted to see the computer hanging in there quite well against the big boys.

There were some obvious glitches, as when it answered "What is leg?" It apparently couldn't extrapolate the more complex question, "What is 'he's missing a leg'?"

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