Here’s a healthy reminder that Jeopardy champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter will face off against each other and the supercomputer known endearingly as Watson this week. The man vs. machine 3-night competition begins tonight and will run through Wednesday the 16th. Jeopardy airs at 7PM ET on ABC. Fill your brain with knowledge about Watson’s abilities before tuning in tonight, then let Judgment Day the games begin!
Update: No surprise here; Watson dominated and destroyed the species that created it. After the three-day, two game competition the scores tallied like this: Rutter scored $21,600; Jennings $24,000; and Watson a whopping $77,147. In the end, these amounts were wiped away and replaced by fixed scores of $200,000, $300,000, and $1 million, respectively. The two human contestants agreed to share half their winnings with their charity of choice. All of Watson’s earnings will find their way to a charity selected by IBM called Skynet World Vision and World Community Grid.
With Watson on board, Jeopardy received its biggest jump in ratings since May 2005′s Ultimate Tournament of Champions (which featured Jennings and Rutter). It’s being reported that Monday night’s show posted an 8.8 rating and that spiked 9% on Tuesday to a 9.6 rating. All in all, Watson proved that machines are certainly getting smarter and more sophisticated. But at least we don’t have to expect world domination just yet; it thought Toronto was a U.S. city! Side note: How cool was it to watch Watson’s avatar “sweat” during the heated competition? When it was confident about a response green swirls swooped to the top of the display, and when it was unsure about one (or–gasp!–answered incorrectly) the swirls would change to a yellow hue and sink to the bottom. Watching the computer “think” was fun to watch.
Sure, it’s a fake app but the advertisement is very real and it’s downright hysterical! This ad for the “Anti Knock-Up Application” was entered into the Cannes Future Lions 2010 competition that challenged designers to “advertise a product from a global brand in a way that couldn’t be conceived five years ago.” This ad does a pretty damn good job at showing how such an app could scare young men into using condoms. Ah, what a hoot!
Created by Glen Forrester for Global Game Jam 2010, GNILLEY was originally intended to be a video game concerned with “pitch and color” but instead it became “all about yelling at everything.” I’m going to save my breath and just have you watch the video demonstration for yourself. It’s wild. (Team Forrester ended up winning Most Original Game at the competition!)
Funnywoman and successful talk show host Ellen DeGeneres recently signed a deal that officially hits the nail in the coffin for Paula Abdul’s departure from Americal Idol. DeGeneres has signed a 5-year deal with ICM. She will be occupying Abdul’s vacant seat through at least the thirteenth season of AI. Says DeGeneres: “I’m thrilled to be the new judge on American Idol. I’ve watched since the beginning, and I’vealways been a huge fan. So getting this job is a dream come true, and think of all the money I’ll save from not having to text in my vote.” Question is, what does Ellen know about musical talent? She’s a comedian; sure she’ll bring laughs to the show, but how can she properly contribute to the show’s search for the next greatest singer if she doesn’t have a trained ear for it? I hope my perplexity is eased once things get rolling. One thing’s for sure–I know I’ll miss drunken Abdul drinking “cola” from the judge’s table. (FYI–I haven’t watched AI in its entirety since the premiere season. If you do not watch the show, please let me recommend you to at least witness the hilarity that is the first few “audition episodes.” It’s a treat.