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'Jeopardy' pits human champions against soulless machine, starting tonight

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Image Credit: Ben Hider/Getty ImagesIf you’re a horrible robot secretly plotting an apocalyptic takeover of the planet Earth, then the next three days will feel like Christmas, Independence Day, and Super Bowl Sunday, with just a touch of Bastille Day. That’s because Jeopardy is beginning a special three-night showdown between two of the quiz show’s ultra-champions — Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, a.k.a. “Mr. Winning Streak” and “Mr. Moneybags” — and Watson, a soulless robot invented by IBM to prove that machines can finally defeat their creators at the oldest game in human history: Knowledge of Random Trivia. (You’ll recall that the last time IBM did something like this, they created an abomination called Deep Blue, which defeated Garry Kasparov and ruined chess forever. In other news, IBM is changing its name to “Skynet.”)

In a press video released last month, we already saw that Watson can hold his own against his opponents, despite the fact that the horrible machine has never breathed fresh air or laughed in response to a friend’s joke. (Watson doesn’t even have any friends, because who wants to be friends with a stupid robot?) I’m betting that humanity can pull this one out, but it’ll be a close one, viewers. Tell us in the poll below: Who will win the battle of Man vs. Machine? (And be sure to check out Ken Tucker’s write-up of the first episode.)

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