Thursday, February 17, 2011

Machines 2, Humans 0

Building on its defeat (through Deep Blue) of chess master Gary Kasparov in 1997, IBM's AI team was a big winner last night with Watson storming from behind to win for the third night in a row, and dominating lead total of $77,147 for the week, more than the two humans combined. Ken Jennings finished second with a three-day total of $24,000 and Brad Rutter was third with $21,600.

Watson seemed to be off-its-game early, trailing for much of the first half of the game. But perhaps it was a machine version of "Rope-a-Dope": when "Double Jeopardy" began, Watson answered 18 of the 29 questions, ensuring its win.

Jennings finished the evening with a message as part of his "Final Jeopardy"
written answer:
"I for one welcome our new computer overlords."

Some analysis of how Watson "heard" the answers.

What Watson's victory means: Link

And an interview with IBM engineer: Link

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