If you’ve been waiting years for Alex Trebek to welcome you as a contestant on Jeopardy, you might have to keep waiting, because Watson, the newest Jeopardy star, just ushered in a new breed of game-show superstars. Or should we say supercomputers? Yes, as you’ve probably already heard, a supercomputer named Watson beat top contestants Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter at their own game last week.
Watson’s reign has sparked a wave of questioning: “What else can machines like Watson do?”, “Are computers really smarter than humans?”, and “Are robots going to take over the world?”
In the spirit of Watson’s victory, here are three more tasks we’d love to see taken over by machines:
1. Cleaning behind the refrigerator. Do you know what’s under your refrigerator right now? If you’ve ever moved your refrigerator you know about the nastiness that always seems to collect where we can’t see. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a little machine that could crawl under there and clean all that up? (A little less glamorous than Watson’s gig on Jeopardy)
2. Folding laundry. Folding is arguably the worst part of doing laundry. Though there have been machines invented for the sole purpose of folding t-shirts, the idea of a laundry-folding robot still hasn’t gone mainstream.
3. Sports Commentating. How many times have you been watching your favorite sports team only to hear the announcer mispronounce your star-player’s name? What about when you find your team on the losing end and suddenly everyone is rooting against you (including the commentators!)? When it comes to knowledgeable and completely unbiased sports commentators, robots might be our last hope.
After he lost to Watson, Ken Jennings said, “I for one welcome our new computer overlords.” But we don’t think a computer take-over is going to happen any time soon. (Watson doesn’t even know he won Jeopardy, how could he process world domination?) So until then, lets make the most of all the great tech products the world has to offer!
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