This much hyped and watched TV event seems to be the next logical step to ponder following Sujatha's recent post on language and grammar which soon morphed into language and thought in the comments section. So, IBM's Watson beat out the humans. But what was it thinking and in what language? What is the significance of coming up with the right moves and answers when an entity doesn't really understand what is being asked? Along with the NYT story linked above, see also this article which explains why despite the whopping defeat handed the men by the machine, language and information processing are not the same thing.
All of this is to say that while Ken and Brad lost the battle, Team Carbon is still winning the language war against Team Silicon. The "war" metaphor, incidentally, had been playing out for weeks, stoked by IBM and Jeopardy! to build public interest in the tournament. The press gladly played along, supplying headlines like the one in the Science Times from Tuesday, "A Fight to Win the Future: Computers vs. Humans." IBM knew from the Kasparov vs. Deep Blue days that we're all suckers for the "man vs. machine" trope, going back to John Henry's mythical race against the steam-powered hammer. It certainly makes for a better storyline than, say, "Check out the latest incremental innovations that Natural Language Processing researchers are making in the field of question-answering!"