Watson the IBM Computer Beats Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter at Jeopardy
It’s only a matter of time now. This week on Jeopardy! a special event took place as Watson, a sophisticated computer system from IBM, faced off against Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter who are generally regarded as the greatest human Jeopardy! players. This is a distinction we need to make now as Watson pretty much completely trounced them.

Watson the Jeopardy! playing computer's hardware setup

Despite his monolithic appearance when seen from the front Watson is actually conveniently placed monitor. He’s actually a huge computer system on state of the art IBM hardware. We know this of course because this event was basically a huge advertisement for IBM. They clearly put a good deal of work to program this guy so I guess that was the trade off for all the viewers this event pulled in.

Watson rates his Jeopardy! answers and buzzes in if it passes a threshold

Watson does some crazy algorithms to determine the most likely answer and the probabilities are then shown on screen. If the chance of the answer being right is above his threshold, he buzzes in, with great speed, and shoots and answer. But he’s not always right!

Watson the IBM computer loses Final Jeopardy! by thinking Toronto is a U.S. City

Watson made quite a gaffe when he answered the first game’s final Jeopardy! question on the category “U.S. Cities” with the Canadian city “Toronto”. Despite this he still won the first game and went on to also win the second game meaning of course he had the highest combined total for the three day two game event. He had a decent lead but after enough games he would probably eventually be beat if the questions fell right, but at this point it seems pretty obvious that like with chess before it, Jeopardy! is yet another thing that computers are better than us at. In the words of the new obsolete Ken Jennings “I for one welcome our new computer overlords”.

Andy Goode's Turk was made to play chess and it became Skynet

Andy Goode's Turk was made to play chess and it became Skynet