I have an idea for a new TV show. Two men stand, almost in silence, while a machine talks in a monotone and shows the world how clever it is. Will it sell? Perhaps that depends on the ratings for Part 2 of IBM's Jeopardy Challenge. Hollywood loves to copy.
As strife grows between National Football League players and owners, the video game business is already feeling sidelined.
The NFL and Electronic Arts have restructured their deal over the famed Madden franchise, the Sports Business Daily reported yesterday, citing unnamed sources. According to the publication, the NFL has agreed to "significantly" cut down on EA's "contractual obligations" and has extended the agreement for one year beyond the original 2012 end date.
Sports Business Daily wasn't able to track down how much less EA will pay the NFL this year, but Jacksonville Jaguars owner Wayne … Read more
Watching IBM's Watson supercomputer make its debut tonight on "Jeopardy," one thought dominated: why, oh, why did they make him sound like Hal's diffident nephew?
This was the future freaks' big chance to make themselves acceptable to the human race. This was national television.
Watson had been created by human beings who pride themselves in their ability to teach a machine, rather than a child, to be as smart as they are. So why did they not think about giving Watson a little character? A shock of long, green hair, perhaps. Oversize purple ears would have … Read more
If you're anything like me, you've fantasized about being a contestant on "Jeopardy"--how you'd write your name in the name box, how much you'd wager on a Daily Double, and how you'd awkwardly banter with Alex upon your introduction. Last week I got to live my dream of playing a full "Jeopardy" game--and to make the situation even more amazing, I got to do it against Watson, the famous IBM supercomputer.
In segments to be aired starting today, Watson--which boasts nearly 3,000 Power7 processors and 16 terabytes of memory and has the ability to compute more than 30 billion operations per second--will take on "Jeopardy" champs Ken Jennings (the winningest champion in the "Jeopardy" history) and Brad Rutter (the biggest money earner in the show's history, with more than $3.2 million).
Turned out Watson's a formidable challenger, having been fed massive amounts of information from a range of thesauri and encyclopedias, plus the Bible. And since a "Jeopardy" answer has to be deduced in around three seconds, Watson's response rate is lightning-fast.
Indeed, Watson rang in with blazing speed on every question posed to us--ranging on topics from international sports trophies to laundry detergent to fashion to tennis vocabulary--which gets frustrating when you actually know the answers. … Read more
The video game industry was hit quite hard by slow sales in January, and Nintendo and Sony might have felt the biggest impact of that, one analyst says.
Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter estimates that Microsoft sold 380,000 Xbox 360 units in January, besting the rest of the market and rising 14 percent over its January 2010 sales. Pachter said he believes Nintendo tallied 320,000 unit sales in January, down 31 percent year over year. Sony once again came in third place in Pachter's January estimate with 240,000 PlayStation 3 units sold on the month. That figure … Read more
The social-gaming company is currently trying to raise about $250 million, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. And if it gathers that much cash, it could see its valuation grow from the $4 billion it was worth in April to "between $7 billion and $9 billion" now, the Journal said, citing unnamed sources.
Zynga's possible decision to take on $250 million in additional financing is somewhat surprising. According to the Journal's sources, the social-gaming company doesn't need the money. However, that isn't stopping it from being … Read more
Sony's PlayStation 2--yes, 2--has reached a milestone.
The company announced today that it had shipped 150 million units of the console as of January 31. That's since its launch in Japan in March 2000.
The PlayStation 2's longevity has been nothing short of astounding. Nearly 11 years after launch, the PlayStation 2 is still available for purchase for $99.99. The console trails far behind the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft's Xbox 360, and Sony's PlayStation 3 in total sales each month these days, but it still has a strong presence in the Middle East, South America, … Read more
It might not be long before Sony turns its back on iTunes, if a new report from Australia's The Age proves to be accurate.
According to the publication, Sony is working hard on on getting its Music Unlimited streaming service to catch on with customers. Michael Ephraim, head of Sony Computer Entertainment in Australia, said that as the service is rolled out around the world and it starts to gain popularity, it might be time for Sony to think twice about its partnership with Apple and iTunes.
"If we do [get mass take up] then does Sony Music … Read more
Netflix may have thought about it, but the company won't be bringing ads to its streaming service.
Speaking to Fast Company in an interview posted today, Netflix Vice President of Corporate Communications Steve Swasey said the topic of bringing advertising to the company's streaming service has been brought to the table from time to time over at Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif., but the arguments in favor of ads haven't been all that compelling.
"Every time, we shoot it down," Swasey said.
Netflix's streaming service has relied on a subscription model since its … Read more