Rush Holt: humanity’s last hope against the machines

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="126" caption="He is The One."]The Chosen One[/caption]

Don’t scorch the skies yet — New Jersey Congressman (and former Assistant Director of Princeton’s Physics Lab) Rush Holt may just become this century’s Neo from the Matrix.

After IBM supercomputer Watson trounced all-time champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a game of man vs. machine Jeopardy! a few weeks ago, it looked as if the world was doomed to artificial intelligence supremacy. (Especially after Jennings revealed himself to be a traitorous robot sympathizer, writing “I for one welcome our new computer overlords” on his Final Jeopardy answer.)

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="270" caption="pictured: Benedict Arnold (Schwarzenegger)"]Benedict Arnold [Schwarzenegger]. (source: ABC)[/caption]But hope is not lost. Yesterday, our 12th district representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) beat the supercomputer Watson 8,600 points to 6,200 in a “Congress vs. Computer” Jeopardy tournament on Capitol Hill.

Holt was a former nuclear physicist and five-time champion on Jeopardy! over 30 years ago, making him a seasoned contender against the supercomputer.

According to the L.A. Times, Holt kicked Watson’s hard drive in categories like “Presidential Rhyme Time” and “Also a Laundry Detergent.” (Whitman College residents who watched the fateful Jennings v. Watson episode in February noticed the computer isn’t very good at wordplay. Are puns the last refuge of humanity?)

Despite Holt’s redeeming victory, I still don’t trust robotic technology. It’s not too long before a couple of THESE buggers get a mind of their own and begin attacking us like a swarm of killer bees.