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Watson ties Brad Rutter on 'Jeopardy!' Outcome of man-versus-machine battle uncertain!



Score one for humankind! On Monday night, "Jeopardy!" champion Brad Rutter tied with IBM super- computer Watson at $5,000 apiece, while "Jeopardy!" all-star Ken Jennings took third place with $2,000.

At first it seemed as though Watson would crush us all: It scored 12 of the first 16 queries without getting a single one wrong. But after four incorrect answers, Rutter began to catch up.

Two nights remain in the match, and the competitors haven't even reached the Double Jeopardy or Final Jeopardy rounds. We won't bow to you yet, All-Powerful Machine That Will Inevitably Enslave Us!

-- Melissa Maerz

Photo: Alex Trebek, Ken Jennings, Watson and Brad Rutter. Credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (8)

this was a great show

Not really a fair fight, Watson got the question via text as soon as it's shown. The way Watson works is by breaking down text and looking for patterns. The human players have to read fast or listen to Alex. If Watson had to use speech recognition or video recognition to properly process the question as we do, and I might add as the game is played and the official rules state; we would have a better measure of how good Watson is in a fair fight. As it is huge props to those guys for keeping pace with such clear "cheating" being done by Watson.

Watson is doing no more cheating than his human counterpoints. According to IBM: "Watson’s buzzing is not instantaneous. For some clues he may not complete the question answering computation in time to make the decision to buzz in. For all clues, even if he does have an answer and confidence ready in time, he still has to respond to the signal and physically depress the button.

The best human contestants don’t wait for, but instead anticipate when Trebek will finish reading a clue. They time their “buzz” for the instant when the last word leaves Trebek’s mouth and the “Buzzer Enable” light turns on. Watson cannot anticipate. He can only react to the enable signal. While Watson reacts at an impressive speed, humans can and do buzz in faster than his best possible reaction time."

This has been amazingly interesting to watch. Even though pitting it against humans is unfair due to the buzz in factor, in the end I don’t really care that it beats the humans so much as that artificial intelligence has come so far. I always thought computers *should* be good at chess so deep blue was not shocking, just cool. But I am pretty shocked that it is as good at Jeopardy as it is

I'm very excited about the result.

Watson does not do as very few when the questions are posed with few words. With Watson, the more words in the question the better chance of Watson having the correct correct answer.

I enjoyed the show!

Congrats to IBM and Watson for their amazing achievement over the past few years. This is an incredible break through for technology andI anticipate great things from it. It is a shame how many folks seem to have a poor grasp on the complexity of the problem and consider this whole exercise "stupid". There will always be a troll for every subject.


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