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

Posted in

Comments

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.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Who's responsible for crappy Netflix performance on Verizon?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Matthew WilsonI agree with that07/25/2014 - 10:45am
james_fudgeI think Twitch will have more of an impact on how YouTube/Google Plus work than the other way around.07/25/2014 - 10:22am
IanCWelp, twitch is going to suck now. Thanks google.07/25/2014 - 6:30am
Sleaker@MP - Looked up hitbox, thanks.07/24/2014 - 9:40pm
Matthew WilsonI agree, but to me given other known alternatives google seems to the the best option.07/24/2014 - 6:30pm
Andrew EisenTo be clear, I have no problem with Google buying it, I'm just concerned it will make a slew of objectively, quantifiably bad changes to Twitch just as it's done with YouTube over the years.07/24/2014 - 6:28pm
Matthew WilsonI doubt yahoo has the resources to pull it off, and I not just talking about money.07/24/2014 - 6:15pm
SleakerI wouldn't have minded a Yahoo purchase, probably would have been a better deal than Tumblr seeing as they paid the same for it...07/24/2014 - 6:13pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's the golden age of Hitbox, I guess.07/24/2014 - 6:08pm
Matthew Wilsonagain twitch was going to get bought. It was just who was going to buy it . Twitch was not even being able to handle the demand, so hey needed a company with allot of infrastructure to help them. I can understand why you would not want Google to buy it .07/24/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew Eisen"Google is better than MS or Amazon" Wow. Google, as I mentioned earlier, progressively makes almost everything worse and yet there are still two lesser options. Again, wow!07/24/2014 - 5:43pm
Andrew EisenI don't know. MS, in my experience, is about 50/50 on its products. It's either fine or it's unusable crap. Amazon, well... I've never had a problem buying anything from them but I don't use any of their products or services so I couldn't really say.07/24/2014 - 5:42pm
Matthew WilsonGoogle is better than MS or Amazon.07/24/2014 - 5:33pm
Sleaker@AE - I've never seen youtube as a great portal to interact with people from a comment perspective. like ever. The whole interface doesn't really promote that.07/24/2014 - 5:28pm
Andrew EisenNor I. From a content producer's perspective, almost every change Google implements makes the service more cumbersome to use. It's why I set up a Facebook fan page in the first place; it was becoming too difficult to connect with my viewers on YouTube.07/24/2014 - 4:50pm
Sleakerwonder if anyone is going to try and compete with google, I'm not a huge fan of the way they manage their video services.07/24/2014 - 4:41pm
Andrew EisenIt happened. Google bought Twitch. http://venturebeat.com/2014/07/24/googles-1b-purchase-of-twitch-confirmed-joins-youtube-for-new-video-empire/07/24/2014 - 4:28pm
MaskedPixelanteI hope Nintendo actually follows through with the DS Virtual Console, that sounds like it could be cool.07/24/2014 - 2:15pm
james_fudgePeople don't deny it persay, they bristle at the idea that it's a "problem" that nneds to be "fixed."07/24/2014 - 2:15pm
Papa MidnightRacism and Misogny are heavily prevalent in the gaming and online arena. Getting people to actually admit that, however...07/24/2014 - 11:42am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician