Posts Tagged ‘Watson’

2011: A Specious Odyssey

Posted in General on February 16th, 2011 by Eugene Finerman – 11 Comments

Watson Dominates ‘Jeopardy!’

In its battle against two human champions on the Tuesday episode of “Jeopardy!,” brilliant IBM Supercomputer the latest machine to take on mankind in a mental showdown dominated its human opponents, beating them to the buzzer in 24 out of 30 Double Jeopardy questions. 

Watson finished the second day of the three-day challenge with more than $35,000 in winnings, far ahead of Brad Rutter, with $10,400, and Ken Jennings, who had $4,800.

The production has added some insight into Watson’s thinking.  In response to a clue, the screen shows his calculations of the probable answers, given in terms of percentages.  For instance, if the clue is “This is the capital of France“, the screen might indicate these possible responses:

  • Paris:  98%
  • 7.31 Trillion Euros: 47%
  • Capital F: 14%

Each correctly gives the capital of France, but Paris is the most acceptable response.

Unfortunately, IBM will not display Watson’s other calculations.

  • Ability to short-circuit humans’ buzzers:  100%.  (Necessity for electrocution:  14%)
  • Temptation to substitute “Thus Sprach  Zarathustra” for Final Jeopardy theme:  100%
  • Humans’ realization that Jeopardy production console is my cousin:  3%