Feeds

Man matches machine in Jeopardy! showdown

Wetware draws round one

The essential guide to IT transformation

Man has drawn with machine in round one of the much-hyped showdown between two wetware Jeopardy! champions and IBM's Watson supercomputer.

In the early going, it wasn't looking good for the humans of the world, as IBM's machine ripped through the easy questions and took a hefty lead over Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in the Jeopardy trivia game show that appears on American television for three nights this week.

Jennings, who once had a 74-game Jeopardy winning streak, is known for being at one with the buzzer, but Watson cleaned his clock before the first commercial break. After 15 minutes, it was Jennings $200, Rutter $1,000, and Watson $5,200.

But as Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek tossed up harder and harder questions – er, answers – Watson suffered from what you might call over-confidence. At one point, when Jennings proposed an incorrect question to a clue, Watson tossed up the same wrong question. The machine can't hear responses from the other contestants.

As Watson made a few more incorrect guesses, Brad Rutter – who has won more dough than anyone else playing Jeopardy – came alive and started racking up money, as you can see from our exclusive play-by-play table:

Watson Jeopardy Round One Count

At the end of round one, Jennings had $2,000, Watson had $5,000, and Rutter had drawn even with $5,000.

"Watson is very bright, very fast, and as you saw, he has some weird little moments," Trebek declared at the end of the round.

Tuesday night will see a Double Jeopardy! match up between the humans and the parallel cluster, and Final Jeopardy! arrives on Wednesday. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts
Samba implementation? Time to get some devs on the job
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.