Feeds

Humans shamed in round two of Jeopardy! showdown

Slippery when wetware

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

The second round of the Jeopardy! showdown pitting humanity against IBM's Watson supercomputer did not go so well for the carbon-based lifeforms, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. If the IBM machine was capable of diabolical laughter, it would have let out a rather lengthy cackle.

This was the middle round of the three-part Jeopardy tournament airing this week on American television, and Watson was generally quicker to the buzzer than even Jennings, who is legendary for being faster than most humans. He once racked up a 74-game winning streak on the trivia game show.

At the end of yesterday's round one, Jennings had $2,000, Watson had $5,000, and Rutter had pulled even with Watson at $5,000. In round two, the clues were a little harder, and the values for each response double. Watson correctly answered 13 of the first 15 questions, Jennings answered one, and all three contestants answered one incorrectly.

At the commercial break, Watson had amassed $23,881, after hitting two "Daily Doubles", where contestants choose the amount they want to bet on their response. The machine chose rather bizarre bets of $6,435 and $1,246. The way Watson was playing, the machine should have bet much more, but apparently, it's a tad cautious. Jennings had $1,200 and Rutter had $3,400 at the commercial break, and they were clearly frustrated by the machine's speed.

Here's how the game played out:

Watson Jeopardy Round Two Count

Watson answered ten more clues correctly, and it headed into the Final Jeopardy segment with $36,681. All three players were stumped on one question, and both Jennings and Rutter answered two more questions correctly, giving them $2,400 and $5,400.

During Final Jeopardy!, the game host, Alex Trebek, offers a single clue, and players have 30 seconds to record their answer. They can bet all or a portion of their accumulated money. The clue was: "Its largest airport is named for a World War II hero; its second largest, for a World War II battle."

Jennings bet his entire kitty on his response, "What is Chicago?," which is correct. That boosted his score to $4,800. Rutter also chose Chicago, but bet only $5,000, bringing his total to $10,400. Watson admitted it was unsure with the question "What is Toronto????" But it bet only $947, so the supercomputer ended up with $35,734 as round two came to a close. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.