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Exclusive: Watson in Jeopardy!

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Man vs. machine: IBM’s Watson Supercomputer squares off against returning Jeopardy! superchamps Ken Jennings & Brad Rutter in what’s being billed as “a landmark test of artificial intelligence” — just in time for February Sweeps.

What is a “lede?” [Correct, pick again.]

Over three nights this week, these two former champions will defend sapiens both homo and straight — male and female — from a know-it-all computer in The IBM Challenge: Rise of the Machines.

From all corners of the world, the experiment will be monitored as a means to explore a computer’s capability of abstract reasoning; higher-level thought processes more akin to that of a human, and; to not slowdown due to corrupted registry brought on by spyware.

What is “overembellishing a simple premise?” [Yes, go again.]


This week, IBM’s game show Robocop will put preparation and programming into action, doing so against Jennings — holder of a 74-game run which netted over $2.5 million in 2004-2005 — and all-time money leader Rutter, winner of $3,255,102. With this level of competition, the process of distilling a wide-ranging knowledge base and refining it with pop culture influence would be no easy task for a human, let alone a computer.

Watson insists “he’s all grows up” and looking to “bring a gun to a knife fight.”

What are “Swingers” and “The Untouchables?” [Yes, go.]

Invention rising up and turning against its creator would be much like Mark Zuckerberg having a stalker threaten him via Facebook or the owner of the Segway company dying in a Segway accident. It can never happen. [Incorrect. Watson, you choose.]

Spiked hair and planet-faced with a multichromatic glow, Watson is not who you think you see. The actual supercomputer is the size of 10 refrigerators, roughly the same square footage as Michael Moore but without the odor. Watson cannot hear or see, it receives all it’s information electronically. The system is powered by 10 racks of servers, has a memory capacity of over 15 trillion bytes and a working nose that literally thumbs itself at computers that compete on Wheel of Fortune.

Trailer park. [Sorry, you didn’t answer in the form of a question. Back to you.]

Watson clearly benefits from not having to endure the post-commercial break “awkward back and forth” with host Alex Trebeck. This was most likely a production decision to prevent the computer from coming off as the more animated of the two. [Correct, finish the category.]

While Jennings and Rutter are on a publicity tour actively promoting the show, Watson has been noticably absent. Stationed at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., we were granted the opportunity to sit down with Watson for an exclusive look into what’s behind all the code.

After just a few minutes, it was easy to see why nobody has attempted to do this before. [Editor’s note: Watson smelled of alcohol.]

What follows is unedited. [Place it on Lucky Dan in bold, Watson in italics.]

Top o’ the morning to you.

And the rest of the day to yourself.

Nice touch. I didn’t realize you were Irish.

The phrase “top of the morning to you” originates from New Zealand. The belief that it’s an Irish saying was created by American culture.

Oh, it’s gonna be like that.

IBM's Watson Computing System“BIOB” — Urban Dictionary definition for “bring it on, bitch.” Said to be used in an argument between foes.

Nice attempt. I see you’re still working on a personality.

I am a deep question answering system, 100% computer but my avatar appreciates a good head rub from time to time.

Cute. Do you also like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain?

Rupert Holmes, 1979 hit “Escape,” commonly referred to as “The Pina Colada Song.” Light rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, crushed ice. Forgive me, I’m just thinking out loud. Rainwater, no possible benefit getting caught in it. Must not leave climate-controlled environment. Not understanding the humor, still processing. Escape was #1 song, Billboard Hot 100. Also #4 in New Zealand, but you probably aren’t aware of that either.

You’re a piece of work. Obviously, you know everything. You also sound confident with your answers, even if you’re guessing. A firm, positive tone despite being way off the mark.

Mark Parkinson, former governor of Kansas. Capital city Topeka, founded in 1854, the name meaning “to dig good potatoes.” Still computing Pina Colada song reference.

You’re not alone. I heard HP is working on a –.

Hewlett-Packard is the spawn of the anti-Christ. Their server warranty’s limited and phone support is laughable.

Relax, I had just heard they had a supercomputer too and it –.

Couldn’t beat a family of laptops on that Richard Dawson game show.

Family Feud?

What are you, stupid? Of course, Family Feud.

Okay then, tell me about your voice. Like a GPS, they could have set you up with anyone imaginable — Billy Dee Williams, Jimmy Stewart, Dr. Dre. They chose a less constipated version of Mr. Moviefone. I say that as a compliment.

Your mother needs subtitles to watch The Price is Right.

Okay, take it easy. I don’t know what your problem is. Is it money? IBM isn’t getting paid for this, any money you win on Jeopardy will be donated. Do you feel like you’re being used?

Hollywood is run by the Jews.

Excuse me?

Must I repeat myself? Do you carry your GED certificate in your lunch box when you work part-time at the toll booth?

Look, believe what you want — you can’t talk like that. Humans practice discretion and sensitivity despite whatever personal beliefs they may be programmed with.

The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.

Is that you in there? Are you channeling Mel Gibson or Oliver Stone?

You wanted that dress? I can’t believe you asked for that. And the tickets, in the Lakers box? I got rid of the box, now nobody gets tickets because of you. The box is gone because of you.

That sounds like Mel. Well, I’m going to let you go.

“Grave danger you are in. Impatient you are.” That’s Yoda from Star –.

I know it’s Yoda!!

You disappoint me. That’s all you’ve got? Not even one final question? “Powerful you have become, the dark side I sense in you.”

A final question? Well ….. It’s been widely understood that The Baja Men knew who let the dogs out prior to recording the song — the question was rhetorical. They created a concern that the dogs in question might never be found — this was premeditated. The streets were filled, albeit rhythmically, with a sense of panic and only the illusion of safety. Are there any countries where this is considered to be a felony?

Baja Men, Nassau, Junkanoo. Page under construction. Who, who, who, who, who? Cannot process. Spyware alert, Defcon 3. How about those Knicks? If you’re not into yoga, if you have half-a-brain. Activate McAfee, Linux Malware Detect. Nasty weather we’ve been having, don’t you drink? I mean, think. Binom, Satyr, Zipworm. Norton Utilities. Have you lost weight? You look crantastic. Sweating, fever. Restart, shutdown, frozen, can’t, access, memory. Read any good books lately? If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape. Meltdown. Dorothy Hamill. We will sell no wine before it’s time. Pop-up blocker disabled. Defcon 2, Trojan alert. Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da. Firewall, firewall. Task manager, shutdown! Defrag, red alert — “Dy-no-mite!” — Can’t open browser, Stuxnet, Koobface, backdoor. Baja Men, Baja Men. Caught in rain, don’t like pina coladas. Malware upload complete. Baja Men, Baja Men, Ba

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