Feeds

IBM answer machine makes chumps of trivia chimps

'Robots will keep us as pets'

The essential guide to IT transformation

If you've been watching the first two days of the Jeopardy! game show pitting two of humanity's trivia champs against IBM's Watson question-and-answer machine, you probably had a sinking feeling – mixed with a sense of awe.

All-time champ Ken Jennings put up a good fight, and Brad Rutter stole away a few questions, but the supercomputer took no prisoners in rounds three and four of the tournament. The pace was twice as fast on Wednesday, with less marketing speak on behalf of Big Blue, and they got quickly down to quizness.

Here's how the third round played out:

Watson Jeopardy Round Three Count

After a slow start, Jennings worked up some momentum and Rutter did his best to keep up. By the end of the round, Jennings had amassed $8,600, Watson only $4,800, and Rutter $2,400.

In round four, it was a slug-fest between Jennings and Watson. But as you can see below, it wasn't enough:

Watson Jeopardy Round Four Count

By the end of the fourth round, Jennings had $18,200, Watson had $23,440, and Rutter had $5,600.

The show closed out with the Final Jeopardy! clue: "An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldovia inspired this author's most famous novel."

Rutter, who was in third place, bet $5,600, everything he had, and wrote "Who is Bram Stoker?" That boosted him to $11,200 for the day and $21,600 for the three-day tourney. Jennings bet a mere $1,000, and his response was "Who is Stoker (I personally welcome our new computer overlords)?" That gave him $19,200 for the day and $24,000 for the week. Watson, ever the perplexing wagerer, bet $17,973 and responded, "Who is Bram Stoker?" That gave him $41,413 for the day and $77,147 for the entire Jeopardy! challenge.

As Oren Etzioni, director of the Turing Center at the University of Washington, put it in a report on National Public Radio on Monday ahead of the tournament: "Does that mean that it's Game Over for humans, that robots will keep us as pets?" Etzioni says no. We say: "Middle managers, get used to the dog food." ®

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
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
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
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
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.