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Watson Dominates on Day Two Against 'Jeopardy!' Champs (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 16th 2011 12:32AM
IBM Supercomputer artificial intelligence Watson, 'Jeopardy!'Yesterday, IBM's artificial intelligence program Watson was able to hang in there competitively with two of the best players to ever grace the 'Jeopardy!' (Weeknights. 7PM on ABC) stage. He managed a tie with all-time points leader Brad Rutter at $5,000.

On its second day on the show, Watson blew the competition out of the water, and seemed more human than ever. Is this the origins of Skynet? Or maybe Watson is a beta version of a Cylon.

Watson made an educated guess at one point, and even got it right. But he proved a savvy player of the game in Final Jeopardy. Up substantially over his opponents, Watson wasn't sure of his answer, so it chose to play it safe with a paltry wager.

Final tally? $35,734. Was there some last minute tinkering by the IMB engineers last night to improve its performance? Watson completes his 'Jeopardy!' run with tomorrow night's episode.

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I think Watson's biggest failure was in Final Jeopardy. His answer, Toronto, didn't even come close to the category of "U.S. Cities"*.

*full disclaimer: I understand there are 5 cities in the U.S. named Toronto, but none have even a landing strip for farm planes, let alone two international airports.

February 16 2011 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

IMB, eh? Great Proofreading there...
It's BS that Watson is able to buzz in so quickly, that's the problem. Ken and Brad are at a huge disadvantage.
Plus, there were no Before and After questions, very few pun-based questions and no categories which call for a certain number of letters or some other specificity like that. Also, it is clear that Watson is weak at Geography questions. I hope Brad is able to overcome the deficit.

February 16 2011 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Josh Mattson

This episode was taped in one day so the IBM engineers did not retinker with Watson between rounds.

February 16 2011 at 8:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with Brad D....the buzzer speed is insane and creates a major impediment for Ken and Brad.

February 16 2011 at 7:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brad D

I am realy enjoying this competition, especially with all of the background stuff that has been going on with Watson. My only complaint is-is that this first game, Mon & Tues, everything was too factual. All the questions seemed to be really straight forward, which is where Watson absolutely dominates. I hope tomorrow to see more pun based question and answers. Something that will give Watson a real challenge.

I'm also curious about the click in speed that they set for Watson, how much quicker it is compared to Ken Jennings nad Brad Rutter. I know it's supposed to be averaged out compared to a persons, but it just seemed like they had no chance at all to click in, at least on Tuesdays.

Still fun to watch.

February 16 2011 at 12:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brad D's comment
Stéphane Lachance

You could even hear Ken and Brad desperately clicking their buzzers non-stop as the round went on.

February 16 2011 at 1:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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