IBM supercomputer to play on Jeopardy

by Mark R

Some of you may not have heard of Watson, but it is a supercomputer by IBM. It will also be the first machine that will appear on Jeopardy as a contestant.

As part of some very odd publicity stunt, Watson the supercomputer will go up against Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, two of the greatest Jeopardy players ever on February 14, 15, and 16. So far, I can see two possible outcomes of this, which I will discuss in detail after the jump.

First, Watson might have some technical difficulties and might not be up to snuff. Clearly, someone must have some confidence in Watson to put it on Jeopardy. If it gets a zero score, then we will know for sure that A.I. is not quite “there” yet.

Second, assuming that it can understand speech and answer Alex, it gets the answers instantly and Ken and Brad get zero scores. Then we all know that computers are smarter than we are, and A.I. will just get to the point where The Matrix or The Terminator becomes reality.

Either way, I can totally see Watson getting a contract for his own game show. Perhaps it will be “Are you smarter than a computer?” I wonder who would be the host?

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