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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.