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I Lost on Jeopardy!… to Watson? [VIDEO]

So after a long day at the office, I decided to fire up the Suddenlink DVR and watch Monday’s episode of Jeopardy!, which features the IBM supercomputer Watson in a 3-day event.  (click here for more)

Watson is battling against Jeopardy’s! two most prolific players, Ken Jennings (most wins) and Brad Rutter (most money won, over $3 million).  After the first segment of play finished, Watson had a commanding lead over his two human opponents:  Watson $5,200 (with one Daily Double), Rutter $1,000, Jennings $200.  Watson had great knowledge of historic and factual events and speed in buzzing in, but seemed sluggish on pop-culture (including one Harry Potter question) and idiomatic answers/questions.  Jennings, looked visibly frustrated that the computer was buzzing in before him.

Ken Jennings & Jeopardy's! Alex Trebek (Sony Pictures International)

Now, admittedly, there is a little bit of overkill in promotion for IBM, with extra mentions and vignettes, but some of them are interesting in getting to learn about Watson.

Okay, now they are through the first board in the first of two games and Watson is tied with Rutter for the lead at $5,000.  Ken Jennings is behind at $2,000. And, apparently, that’s it for Day 1 of 3.  Tuesday’s show will feature Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy! of the first game.

It appears that the long-used thematic plot device of a computer smarter than humans, in real-time interaction, is now close to, or is reality.  How does that sit with you?  With the way technology has been advancing, it was only a matter of time.

There are two more shows of Jeopardy! with Watson on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I will be watching them both.  Hopefully, Watson will lose to the human players over the course of these two games.

On a final note, for those of you that are fans of 80s pop culture, here’s the video for the song “I Lost on Jeopardy!”

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