In yet another instance of humanity helping its own future overlords prepare for eventual global domination, IBM has built a supercomputer than can defeat the sharpest useless-trivia masters at their own game.
IBM's Watson isn't simply a positronic warehouse of information. No, Jeopardy! requires that its players also interpret wordplay, process speech intonations and put up with Alex Trebek's bad jokes and horrible accents—disciplines mastered by Ken Jennings (who holds the record for the longest streak of wins on Jeopardy!) and Brad Rutters (who won the most money).
And yet, in a practice round at IBM's headquarters, Watson beat them both. We'll see if the humans can reclaim their honor in a match that'll be televised in February, with $1 million on the line. Either way, our days are numbered.
If, one day, you hear a metallic knock on the door, asking you to beg for your life in the form of a question, you'll know where it began.
(Via Daily Intel)