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.
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.
According to a recent survey that answer may be 'yes'. However, since the survey was conducted by IBM there may be a bit of favoritism towards the Superinternethighway. Not that I'm pointing fingers or anything, but the survey was conducted by IBM.
Did I say that the survey was conducted by computer company IBM? Just wanted to make sure.
What the survey found was that more people are spending time on the Internet rather than with their TV. Nineteen percent said that they spend six hours or more surfing the web. This is opposed to the 8% who watch television for the same amount of time. Ironically, these Internet users are spending most of their time on sites that contain television material. Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed mentioned that they spend most of their time viewing content on YouTube, while 33% go over to network TV sites.
Having a computer/TV setup seems like a dream come true, especially for couch potatoes and geeks. You can watch TV, download music and movies, surf the web, and check e-mail from the comfort of your couch, using a remote to control the megasystem that's in one area of your house. So how come we haven't really seen that happen yet?
Slate has an interesting piece today that talks about computer/TV products that never came to be, or came to be and then quickly died (like the Viiv):
"My theory is that PC-TV hybrid products like Viiv aim for a sweet spot that doesn't exist. Very savvy consumers will hack together these setups themselves. The less savvy will just keep their TVs and computers separate. And the folks in the middle? If they're around, nobody has found them yet."
Hmmm...I consider myself in the middle. I'm a bit savvy, but I still want to keep my computers and TV separate. Not because I wouldn't necessarily want to have a computer/TV mix if a perfect setup could be created. It's more because I don't really see a need to have my computer on my TV, or vice versa. And I don't want to play games on my cellphone or watch a TV on my refrigerator or take notes on a Blackberry.
What do you think?
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