IBM Computer Trounces Humans in Jeopardy! Test Run

January 14, 2011 -

In a test run of a special battle between an IBM supercomputer named "Watson" and two of the best Jeopardy! players in the world, the computer dominates. The test of the computer is a preview of a televised battle to take place in January pitting two men against one machine. Score so far: Men 0, Computer 1.

IBM claims that Watson is a major advance in artificial intelligence, and if this test run is any indication, the company is speaking the gospel. Watson managed to beat former Jeopardy! champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on Thursday in its first public test, a short practice round ahead of a million-dollar tournament that will be televised next month in a special series of shows.

Jennings is no lightweight: he won a record 74 consecutive "Jeopardy!" games in 2004 and 2005. Rutter won a record of nearly $3.3 million in prize money on the show.

According to IBM, Watson is powered by 10 racks of IBM servers running Linux. Watson is the result of four years worth of work by IBM researchers around the globe.

"Language is ambiguous; it's contextual; it's implicit," said IBM scientist David Ferrucci, a leader of the Watson team. Sorting out the context -- especially in a game show filled with hints and jokes -- is an enormous job for the computer, which also must analyze how certain it is of an answer and whether it should risk a guess, he said.

The practice round took place on a stage at the IBM research center in Yorktown Heights, 38 miles north of Manhattan. The real contest to be televised Feb. 14-16, will be played at IBM on Friday.

The winner of the match will be awarded $1 million. Second place gets $300,000, third place $200,000. IBM will donate any winnings Watson receives to charity. Jennings and Rutter will donate half of their winnings to charity because humans can actually use money.

During a press event after the test match, the former Jeopardy! champions joked about Watson:

"When Watson's progeny comes back to kill me from the future," Rutter said, "I have my escape route planned just in case."

"I had a friend tell me, 'Remember John Henry, the steel-drivin' man.' And I was like ... 'Remember John Connor!'" Jennings said. "We're gonna take this guy out!"

Source: Salon

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Re: IBM Computer Trounces Humans in Jeopardy! Test Run

 Quick someone find and protect John Connor.

Re: IBM Computer Trounces Humans in Jeopardy! Test Run

I don't know - a $1,000 lead at the end of the first segment, with three full categories and all of Double Jeopardy left to go, doesn't exactly say "trounce" to me. It's impressive, to be sure. But the headline here is a bit misleading.

Editor in Chief - Gamervision.com How Gamers See the World!

Re: IBM Computer Trounces Humans in Jeopardy! Test Run

That is pretty damn impressive actually.  The computer has to analyze the words of the answer, figure out contextually what is being asked, and then come up with the question response.  I'm assuming it also has to take the category into account as well, which adds another layer of complexity.  No doubt this AI is pretty damn sophisticated.

 
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E. Zachary KnightHere is some food for thought for gamergaters who want politics out of games journalism. https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141026/06425828942/journalists-need-point-view-if-they-want-to-stay-relevant.shtml10/30/2014 - 7:18am
quiknkoldI didnt say all games are like that, Conster. Princess Peach was....different. though I had fun with it.10/30/2014 - 7:00am
james_fudgehttp://www.somethingawful.com/news/gamergate-with-cats/10/30/2014 - 5:20am
MechaTama31AE: Japan's doujin scene illustrates an interesting potential solution to that problem. Let people play around with the characters, and keep an eye on things to see what people are buying.10/30/2014 - 12:07am
ConsterI bought, played and liked the game (unlike Smash Basketball *shakes fist*), but that felt iffy to me.10/29/2014 - 10:52pm
Consterquiknkold: if Super Princess Peach had been Super Prince Peach instead, do you think emotions would've been a mechanic?10/29/2014 - 10:51pm
quiknkoldcore meaning Colossus, Storm, Wolverine, and Nightcrawler10/29/2014 - 8:51pm
quiknkoldMatthew, those core x-men were together for almost 2 decades, until one would always be dead so they couldnt have them all together.10/29/2014 - 8:51pm
quiknkoldmore of an unknown. background characters mostly, who had a book but it was mostly a waste. they bring in this powderkeg of diversity and boom. now they could do the same thing and with the right artist and writer and mystique to it...10/29/2014 - 8:50pm
Matthew Wilsondoes it though? they always seem to return to the original cast in a year or two.10/29/2014 - 8:49pm
quiknkoldWhen I think of the perfect catalyst of a melting pot hero team, I think of the All New All Different X-Men. A Russian, A African goddess, A Canadian Berzerker, a German elf, and Cyclops. and all have withstood the test of time mostly cause the x-men were10/29/2014 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenOne reason is because the money people are often afraid it won't sell. "A new IP AND the protagonist is gay?! That'll never work!" Showing that diverse characters can work in popular IP is simply a place to start. The indie scene is another.10/29/2014 - 8:47pm
Matthew Wilsonisnt that the point? why not just make new heroes that are different races, sexual orientations, and genders to start with?10/29/2014 - 8:46pm
Andrew EisenYep, progress is a lot slower than it should be (especially for something that shouldn't have been a problem in the first place).10/29/2014 - 8:45pm
quiknkoldrelevent. Hazmat and X-23. while Reptile, Mettle, Rockslide, Anole, Hellion, Dust, Mercury are all relegated to background characters with zero character enhancement. or they are dead10/29/2014 - 8:45pm
quiknkoldThat has a chance of happening. But its a cosmic scale gamble. They cant all end up like Captain Marvel, once a sidekick and now queen badass. but with Marvel? Look at New X-Men and Avengers Academy. a plethora of new characters, and only 2 are still10/29/2014 - 8:44pm
Andrew EisenIt is a gimmick, albeit one with some good intentions. Plus, it can potentially lead the way to the things you want to see such as new characters.10/29/2014 - 8:41pm
quiknkoldcomes in as a gimmick.10/29/2014 - 8:38pm
quiknkoldI really dont care that Thor is a woman now because they way theyve written it is that Thor will regain his hammer, and the female thor will either fade away or get a new name and eventually writers are going to forget about her like everybody else that10/29/2014 - 8:38pm
quiknkoldother things are a target. Comics are another big one. Genderswapping and race swapping and sexual pref swap characters is happening alot. I'd rather just have all new characters that are female and whatever.10/29/2014 - 8:37pm
 

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