My media week 13/02/11

In Spiked Alka Sehgal Cuthbert argues that in order to defend libraries from government cuts it is necessary to define their role: A library shouldn’t be a glorified Starbucks.

World Book Club features American satirist PJ O’Rourke discussing his book Eat the Rich with presenter Harriett Gilbert, a studio audience and listeners from around the world.

The RSA features a conversation between two iconoclasts John Gray and Will Self about the former’s latest book: The Immortalization Commission: Science and the Strange Quest to Cheat Death.

NPR’s Talk of the Nation looks at supercomputer “Watson”, which will compete on the quiz programme Jeopardy against two human champions from Feb. 14-16. it may seem like  one-sided contest but the computer will have to process often-ambiguous natural language, including irony and wordplay. If you wan to take on Watson yourself, the New York Times has this feature, which allows you to play against IBM’s question-answering supercomputer. I had a go and it was not pretty.

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