Table of Contents
In this skit, we see a television program where a human competes against a computer. The computer has never been beaten in the game. However, a smart kid uses her wits to outsmart the computer and put an end to its winning streak.
Gary Lopez– a television game host
Joan Robinson– a girl from Oak Street School
MT2– a computer
First Noisemaker, Second Noisemaker– noise makers for the participants
A boy and a girl– members of the audience
The Game Starts
The scene is set at a television studio. Gary Lopez says good evening to the audience and welcomes them to The Computer Game. He says another human player will get a chance to match wits with the computer MT2 that day.
MT2 blinks its lights and the studio audience claps loudly. Gary says that day’s player is Joan Robinson for the Oak Street School. He asks her if she is feeling smart. Joan says she is ready.
Gary reminds her that no one has beat MT2 yet. He tells her the rules of the game. Gary will ask a question. The first player to sound a noise maker and give the correct answer scores one point. The first player to earn three points wins the game.
The first question is how much 62,415 times 78,921 is. The First Noisemaker makes a sound and MT2 says the correct answer is 4,925,854,215. Gary gives it one point. The audience claps politely. The next question is what date in history the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.
The Second Noisemaker buzzes and Joan answers 1620. Gary says that is not the exact answer. The First Noisemaker bleeps and MT2 says the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock on December 21 of the year 1620. Gary says it is right and gives it another point.
Joan Beats MT2
Gary says that if MT2 answers the next question correctly, it would be over for Joan. The audience cheers for Joan. Just as Gary is about to ask the next question, Joan interrupts him. She asks whether someone else can ask the question because she may have better luck with them.
A girl comes up on stage saying she will ask it. Joan whispers to her to put the question in the form of a command because she thinks the computer is only programmed for questions. The girl asks them to spell the word “chrysanthemum.”
The First Noisemaker bleeps but MT2 cannot clearly answer the question. It says it cannot follow the question, and to please repeat it in the programmed form. The Second Noisemaker buzzes. Joan spells the word correctly.
The girl says one point for Joan. MT2 slows down while saying it is MT2 Computer repeatedly. Gary exclaims the computer is breaking down. A boy in the audience cheers that Joan is the winner then.
Suddenly MT2’s lights begin flashing wildly. Smoke pours out of its top. Gary asks them to look at what they have done. The computer has blown a fuse. Joan exclaims that it is a poor loser.
This skit shows us how human wit can even outsmart machines. Joan figures out that the computer is programmed to take questions only in a certain way. She uses this fact to her advantage and wins the game, and causes the previously undefeated computer to even blow a fuse.