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July 25, 2014

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TV 101: Rise of the Machines?

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Feb 16th 2011 2:00PM
Watson Jeopardy
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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'Jeopardy!' Champions Vs. Watson: Can Man Defeat a Machine?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 11th 2011 3:30PM
Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter take on IBM's Who is Watson?

Answer: The name of the supercomputer specifically designed by IBM to mimic a human's intelligence-gathering and reasoning skills. And it is competing on 'Jeopardy!' next week against super-champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.

Starting Monday, Feb. 14 (syndicated, check listings), Jennings and Rutter will match their vast stores of trivia knowledge against Watson in a three-day, two-game tournament. The grand total winner of the tournament gets $1 million with $300,000 for second place and $200,000 for third. The two humans have vowed to donate half of their winnings to charity and IBM will donate its entire pot.

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'Jeopardy!'-Playing Computer Owns Two 'Jeopardy!' Champions; Is Humanity Next?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 14th 2011 3:00PM
Ken Jennings vs. Watson on a dry run of Awhile back when news of IBM's "Watson," the computer designed specifically to compete as a 'Jeopardy!' contestant, first surfaced, I actually tried to reach out to champion Ken Jennings for his reactions to it. He declined the opportunity saying that the people at 'Jeopardy!' had asked him not to speak on the subject for the time being.

He was very nice and cordial, but there was a weird omniousness in his letter, almost a twinge of fear in his voice. Something tells me if we had spoken over the phone or in person, his voice would have cracked more than a teenager tenor in training.

Now I know why. IBM held its first public demonstration of Watson against Jennings and 'Jeopardy!' champion Brad Rutter, who holds the show's record for the most money won and the computer absolutely cleaned both of their clocks.

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Ken Jennings knows more than you do

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 28th 2006 9:02AM
Ken JenningsJeopardy! champ Ken Jennings now has a blog on his site, "Confessions of a Trivial Mind." And it's pretty damn entertaining. I was expecting some dry commentary and historical facts, but there's a lot of pop culture stuff on there too, and he updates it frequently. He has a message board too, which seems to be pretty active.

Jennings has a new book coming out, Brainiac, and is a regular columnist for mental_floss magazine.

[via TV Tattle]

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