We warned you that this was the dawning of the Age of the Big-Ass Battlin’ Robot, did we not? Look upon this, ye soft and supple mankind, and recognize the approaching of your obsolescence: IBM has invented a robot capable of answering complicated trivia questions. They call it “Watson,” a name reminiscent of the assistants to both Sherlock Holmes and telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell, and meant to suggest that while it possesses a keen intellect, it’s still only a sidekick to the greatness that is humanity. Do not be fooled. In February, Watson will appear on Jeopardy! and face off against all-time champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter for a $1 million jackpot, heralding once and for all the coming dominance of the artificially intelligent—even in the “Potent Potables” category, even though robots have no need of drink. Enjoy your feebly “superior” knowledge while you still can.
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