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It's Official: The Computer's Smarter

The IBM supercomputer named Watson has beaten two Jeopardy! champions in a three-night marathon. The computer was awarded a $1 million prize, but the BBC reports that “the victory for Watson and IBM was about more than money. It was about ushering in a new era in computing where machines will increasingly be able to learn and understand what humans are really asking them for. Jeopardy is seen as a significant challenge for Watson because of the show’s rapid-fire format and clues that rely on subtle meanings, puns, and riddles; something humans excel at and computers do not.” With his final answer, Ken Jennings, one of the human competitors and the winner of 74 consecutive Jeopardy! shows (a record), wrote, “I for one welcome our new computer overlords.” [%comments]