Walking into IBM's Yorktown Heights Research Center feels like entering a time capsule. The rock-covered walls and mod white chairs are super-'70s, and the wall clocks look like they belong in an old elementary school next to those clanging red bells. But the mob of journalists who arrived at the lab on Thursday came for an event that focused on cutting-edge innovation. Next month, IBM's Watson supercomputer will do battle on Jeopardy with two of the show's all-time top human champions. IBM offered a sneak peek this week at a practice round -- overseen by Alex Trebek, on a replica Jeopardy set IBM spent $1 million to build. Watson, IBM's natural-language processing supercomputer, is surprisingly cute and anthropomorphized. "He" appears as a black rectangle with a globe avatar sitting between his future rivals, Jeopardy champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, who also came to Yorktown Heights for the practice bout. The Jeopardy categories appear across the screen. The round includes "A man, a plan, a canal...Erie!" and "Chicks dig me." Jennings quips, "I've never said this on TV -- 'Chicks dig me' for $300.'" The audience laughs -- and then roars when Watson later intones, "Let's finish up 'Chicks dig me.'" Watson doesn't answer any questions incorrectly, but the machine stays silent throughout the "Children's Books" category, which Jennings sweeps. The whole setup is wonderfully cute and a ton of fun, but there's a lot of advanced tech going on here. IBM says Watson could have deep implications for practical situations.
A little scenario for you:
Alex Trebek - Robots for $2,000- Answer, The Year Robots took control and the plot from The Matrix became real life.Yep this it, you've tinkered too much IBM. You've doomed man kind. I've always said (ask anyone) the day Ken Jennings gets smoked by a computer in Jeopardy is the day I build my "the apocalypse is coming bunker." So that's it, next you hear from me I'll be blogging from my secret underground, reinforced lair. Everyone else better prepare for a life of slavery and organ harvesting. This is as clear a sign yet that the Mayans were full of shit. The end of the world isn't 2012, the end of the world is now.
CW - (frantically buzzing in) 2011!