Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back silent movie

I just was sent this from a friend via StumbleUpon and enjoyed this. If you are a Star Wars fan, you will too.

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Can a computer beat the best Jeopardy players?Can a computer beat the best Jeopardy players?

Tonight with my wife, I watched an interesting episode of Nova titled “The World’s Smartest Machine.” Romantic, right? You can tell we are a couple of geeks at heart. Being a huge fan of Asimov and his robot creations, I am continually amazed at the progress of robotics and artificial intelligence. As a kid I was playing chess as early as the 3rd grade. I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty good chess player. When I heard about a computer that supposedly could beat a world champion chess player, I was intrigued. Garry Kasparov battled IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer in 1996 and won, however he eventually lost a rematch in 1997. Well, IBM is back at it, this time taking on Jeopardy. Nova takes us behind the scenes with the developers of “Watson,” the next step in AI. I was disappointed when the episode ended and it didn’t say who won. I didn’t realize until logging on PBS.org that the contest actually was taking place while I was watching Nova (on my media center PC). After some frantic Google searches, I eventually came across a Twitter feed with a link to a Youtube posting of the episode. This was not quite 2 hours after the episode aired! Isn’t technology great? I expect the Youtube post to be served a DMCA take down, so watch it soon if you plan on it. In addition to the episode at the end of this post, I’ve embedded the Nova preview and an humorous parody of the challenges Watson overcame during his development. I suggest watching the Nova episode first. If you are at all interested in AI, you must check these out!

Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.

Jeopardy Robot Watson’s Untold Game Show History (VIDEO)

Jeopardy Feb. 14 2011 – Human vs Machine IBM Challenge Day 1 Part 1/2

Jeopardy Feb. 14 2011 – Human vs Machine IBM Challenge Day 1 Part 2/2

There are two more nights to the match, airing Tuesday February 15th, and Wednesday the 16th. Be sure to check them out, along with some live blogging on PBS.org. I find myself rooting for Watson, not because I want to see humans defeated, but because I want to see humans capable of making something smart enough to do it. Who do you think will win? Who do you want to win?

So I have been a bit behind with my reviewsSo I have been a bit behind with my reviews

I’ve been a bad reviewer lately. I usually try to write my reviews right after viewing or reading but I haven’t had as much time to write them lately. I’ve been playing World in Conflict quite a bit lately, which competes with my reviews here. I should actually do a review for that sometime, since I spend so much time playing it. It takes place in an alternate reality where the Soviets invade the US in 1990. For more information in the meantime just click the link above.

So, here are the things I have watched so far, but have yet to review:

  1. Blade Runner – The Final Cut: (I’ve watched the movie, which was awesome, but I still have to work through the rest of the special features on the last disc)
  2. I am Legend (2007) – I’ve actually watched this twice, once with my Father while on vacation, and again with my wife
  3. Battlestar Galactica: Razor – Unrated Extended Edition

I’m also in the process of reading two books: Children of Dune by Frank Herbert, and The Age of Spiritual machines by Ray Kurzweil. The latter is not really science fiction, but I’m about half way through it and many of the ideas probably seemed like fiction back when it was published in 1999. Many of the predictions Kurzweil makes in the first half are fairly accurate, so I’m interested to see what he will say in the second half.

My next major milestone will be to read Chaos Theory, Asimov’s Foundations and Robots, and Herbert’s Dune: The Fractal Aesthetic of Epic Science Fiction.

That should keep me busy for a little while.

Don’t miss the Family Guy Season 6 PremierDon’t miss the Family Guy Season 6 Premier

Titled “Blue Harvest”, this season premier will be a spoof of Star Wars, my favorite movie series. I normally do reviews after the fact, but I wanted to give everyone an heads-up to check it out when it arrives on Sunday Sept 23, at 9/8c. I can’t wait to see it, and will review it in a follow up post. Check out the movie poster.

Family Guy - Blue Harvest

There is a preview of the first 10 minutes out on YouTube, but it is a poor quality Cam version, I’d suggest just waiting until it comes out and watch the whole thing on TV. If you didn’t already know, Family Guy has made many references to Star Wars in the past. As far as I know this is the first episode dedicated to Star Wars. Essentially it will cover Episode IV: A New Hope. Check out the following 9 scenes out on YouTube as a warm-up. These aren’t all of them though. –update– The video is no longer available, probably thanks to a Fox take down notice.

–update–
I’ve finally made time to write out my review for this episode, check it out under my TV section or the direct link here.