Feeds

IBM answer machine makes chumps of trivia chimps

'Robots will keep us as pets'

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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." ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
10Gbps over crumbling COPPER: Boffins cram bits down telco wire
XG-FAST tech could finesse fiber connections
THE GERMANS ARE CLOUDING: New AWS cloud region spotted
eu-central-1.amazonaws.com, aka, your new Amazon Frankfurt bitbarn
Airbus to send 1,200 TFlops of HPC goodness down the runway
HP scores deal to provide plane-maker with new fleet of data-crunching 'PODs'
Tegile boots Dell array out of chemical biz. Dell responds: Tegile, who?
Upstart says it's up, up and away ... but not on the giants' radar – yet
Dimension Data cloud goes TITSUP down under... after EMC storage fail
Replacement hardware needed as Australian cloud flops for 48-plus hours
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem
Download this brochure to find five ways HP BladeSystem can optimize your business with the power of one.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.