It used to be a different world, more beautiful than you could ever imagine. We all lived in the light, under a sky that was actually blue. Oh, I know it’s hard to believe, but there were entire cities full of people, and you could stand all the way up without bumping your head against a cavern ceiling. People drank water that came from the sky and these things called oceans and lakes, which were just tremendous deserts of water. What’s that? No one filtered their pee! Well, it’s true. Then, of course, they created a computer that could answer trivia questions really well, and now we have smudged faces and all our clothing is torn leather and chains, and we huddle here, waiting for extinction.

“What is kind of impressive, but maybe some of the funding for what seems to amount to a cocktail party project could have gone to feed starving malarial children, Alex?” (An explanation of what this actually IS here.) (Thanks for the tip, Benjamin.)

Comments (40)
  1. Go Watson! I’m pulling for ya, buddy! NEVER FORGET IT!!! I PULLED FOR YOU FROM THE BEGINNING!!!

  2. A quick search of the internet will show you that yes, in fact, there ARE people out there right now who filter their pee. And when the robot uprising begins, survival of the fittest ensures that they are going to be our new leaders, due to their knowledge and experience in urine filtration. This is going to be worse than we thought.

  3. I’m not too worried. Until they make a robot that drinks, I’ll still do fine at Geeks Who Drink.

  4. It seems like building a computer to answer Jeopardy! questions is sort of a trivial pursuit, but even an IBM engineer can want to be a millionaire.

  5. At first, I was all like:

    Then, I was all:

  6. I won’t be worried till Watson starts making jokes about Alex’s mom.

  7. I’m far less scared of Watson than of the robot being designed to beat him up at lunch.

  8. This one time, during a Quiz Bowl match in High School, the judge asked which city bombing in Germany yielded the highest civilian casualties. I answered “Berlin”, and when the judge said “No, Dresden”, I shouted “Oh! Vonnegut!” under my breath. During the match break, our coach approached me and told me that if I swore during a match, I would be disqualified. Horribly embarrassed, I explained that I didn’t swear, I was referring to “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut when I shouted the author’s name, and not the F-bomb.

    Just saying, a robot would never do that. Robots are cool.

  9. At first they were all over the Discovery Channel. Then they started taking over our game shows. It wasn’t until a washing machine joined the cast of Top Model and Robo Snooki started doing shots of motor oil when I realized that robots were the new reality.

    • Deal with it pilgrim.

    • At first they came for the chess players,
      and I didn’t speak up because I did not play chess.

      Then they came for the Jeopardy contestants
      and I didn’t not speak up because I did not make the qualifying round in my audition.

      Then they came for me
      but there were tons of people to help out because they only came for the nerds.

  10. You know, I really wish there was a preview button around here because I am not a robot.

    Here was the intended pop culture reference:

  11. I won’t panic until they invent a robot that eats the free personal size pizza that comes with my beer at trivia night

  12. I wonder how Watson will do during the meet and greet segment. Ken Jennings was on 75 times and he never told one dumb story about himself. I love that guy.

    • I tried out for Jeopardy in college and by far the hardest part of the process was filling out the form that asked for five anecdotes. All I could think was “Alex Trebek is going to hate that story.”

    • I was on in 2003, and that was definitely the most stressful part of the weeks leading up to the taping. I ended up telling a story about my cat eating a grasshopper. Not my proudest moment. (And then I came in third.)

      • I wouldn’t have a good story for Alex either. I’ve thought about it before and I would definitely make some shit up just to sound more interesting.

  13. At first, I thought this was going to be about Ken Jennings, the terrifying cyborg who held Jeopardy hostage for three months. Then I saw the talking screen and realized that’s who you were worried about. Then I wondered why we can’t be talking about both of them. Is Trebek missing because the robots thought he knew too much? Was this event orchestrated by the robots to flaunt their dominance? Only the robots know, and that’s why we’re doomed

  14. I dunno, funding research into artificial intelligence, of which human language parsing is an important aspect, seems pretty reasonable.

    What’s more disappointing is that they used such a subpar voice. Even homeless people have great voices now, you’d think they could have at least found a nice baritone or something for our new robot overlord

  15. My Michelle for 800, please.

    This Videogum monster pimps her own game show appearance every chance she gets.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c22CmiIr4c4

  16. I’m just hoping this is the first step to seeing some drunken robot celebrities on a future reboot of Match Game, starring Cybrett Somers and Charles Nelson Microsystems Reilly.

  17. Well I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted Internet commenter, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground knowledge caves.

  18. Yeah, sure. It’s really cool/frightening that that robot can do that. What’s more interesting is that Ken Jennings nearly beat a robot at trivia!

  19. As a grad student in computer science, I think this is so freaking incredible. We talked recently about voice recognition and speech synthesis and it’s just crazy what computers can do nowadays. There are some people in the field who are still stuck on this “computers will never be human” sort of attitude, but obviously, they’re not watching Jeopardy.

    Seriously, though, I think this is the coolest thing ever.

  20. Impressive, but what can it do with a bottle of ketchup?

  21. I will be so happy for Watson when one of the questions is finally “motorcycle club”.

  22. They should upgrade Watson and give him Sean Connery’s voice.

  23. Do you think the robot was letting Ken win?

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