Aired Wednesday February 9th, 2011 at 7:00 pm on KUED HD Ch. 7.1
Who's the smartest of them all? Get ready to match wits with smart animals, smart materials, and smart machines, when KUED airs a mind-blowing three hours of science premieres in a NOVA programming event on Wednesday, February 9, 2011, from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. On this evening "The Smartest Night on Television," NOVA takes a 360-degree look at what it means to be "smart."
"Viewers will love 'The Smartest Night on Television' as a hugely entertaining and fascinating look at the smart world around us and how varied it can be when exploring everything from the animal kingdom to materials science to the frontiers of A.I.," says Paula S. Apsell, Senior Executive Producer of NOVA. "It's a very exciting time in artificial intelligence, in particular--with computers that can understand language, talk, and simultaneously translate, and machines that can autonomously navigate the world. In fact, some experts are confident that eventually information will be downloaded from the Internet directly into our brains."
Would you care to match wits with a dog, an octopus, a dolphin, or a parrot? You may want to think twice after watching NOVA scienceNOW "How Smart Are Animals" at 7:00 p.m. The remarkable footage and findings presented by cutting edge researchers demonstrate how animals are much smarter than we think and in ways we had never imagined.
Meet an American "superdog" with a "vocabulary" of more than 1,000 words, and witness as host Neil deGrasse Tyson challenges the dog's genius with a new and unexpected deductive reasoning test. Seemingly humble mollusks have surprisingly large brains and problem-solving capabilities, like those demonstrated by one briny, brainy, eight-legged "Einstein" who finds ingenious ways to get to tasty shrimp.
The fact that dolphins are smart is no secret to many, but viewers may be curious to see the extraordinary footage captured by NOVA of the creative, collaborative, and communicative behavior of dolphins that is surprising even the scientists who are studying them, including interpretation of written symbols.
New York Times technology reporter David Pogue hosts NOVA "Making Stuff: Smarter," a fascinating look at materials science spotlighting the latest developments in "smart materials" and how they will transform our lives. Smarter airs at 8:00 p.m. following "How Smart Are Animals."
Can we create materials that sense and respond? The program looks into the growing number of materials that almost seem alive because of their ability to react, change and even learn. Knowledge and inspiration drawn from nature are showing scientists new ways to give our materials amazing new abilities, like an Army tanker truck that heals its own bullet wounds and a robot that climbs vertical surfaces like a gecko. Studying the properties of skin has led to the development of self-healing protective foam.
"Smartest Machine on Earth" chronicles NOVA's unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access to IBM researchers as they develop the technology for "Watson," a computer that could be the "Smartest Machine on Earth," named after company founder Thomas J. Watson.
The film examines the technological feats and hurdles necessary to develop "Watson," the challenges artificial intelligence researchers face in mimicking the human thought process, and potential applications for the future.
The NOVA special will premiere just five days before Watson is set to make television history on Jeopardy! -- competing for a grand prize of $1 million against Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, the show's most successful and celebrated contestants of all time - in matches airing over three consecutive days on February 14, 15, and 16, 2011.
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