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Saturday, February 19, 2011

“I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords”

That was what Ken Jennings wrote below his final Jeopardy answer as he and Brad Rutter lost to Watson, an IBM computer network that trounced these proud champions in a three day Jeopardy tournament.

Cute and funny – and an eminently recognizable phrase.  But I couldn’t remember where it was from. 

As it turns out, it’s one more contribution from “The Simpsons” writers, as Mark Liberman notes in Language Log:

Danyel Fisher wrote in with the original Simpsons quote (from Deep Space Homer) in context:

News announcer Kent Brockman mistakes a floating ant in a space shuttle experiment floating close to the camera for a giant space ant:

"Ladies and gentlemen, uh, we've just lost the picture, but what we've seen speaks for itself. The Corvair spacecraft has apparently been taken over -- 'conquered' if you will -- by a master race of giant space ants. It's difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume the captive earth men or merely enslave them. One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them; the ants will soon be here. And I for one welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves."