Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Humanity's Last Hope at "Jeopardy" Is Named Rush Holt

Apparently humans can still beat computers at the game show “Jeopardy” after all. It took a congressman to do what Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, two of the game’s best human players, could not: Beat IBM’s Watson supercomputer.

At an event in Washington organized by IBM, The Hill reports, Rep. Rush Holt, who represents New Jersey’s 12th District and was himself a “Jeopardy” champion some 30 years ago, beat the machine in a special congressional round of the game. The score: Holt $8,600, Watson $6,200, after a full round. Also playing was Rep. Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana, who scored $1,000.

Holt, it turns out, is a pretty smart guy to start with. Before running for Congress–he’s now in his seventh term–he was a nuclear physicist. Wikipedia says Holt is one of only two members of Congress to have appeared on “Jeopardy,” the other being John McCain. Where “Jeopardy” is concerned, may we call Holt humanity’s last hope?


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work