Jeopardy to Pit Man Against IBM A.I. for $1 Million

Jeopardy to Pit Man Against IBM A.I. for $1 Million

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Of the three contestants on an upcoming series of Jeopardy episodes, only two will be actual human beings.

Jeopardy has announced that it'll be pitting two of its best contestants ever against one that isn't even human in an upcoming series of three episodes. IBM's Watson, an artificial intelligence program, will go up against the best trivia-answering humans that the world has to offer for a prize of $1 million.

The competition has been in the works for four years simply because of its nature. Jeopardy's contestants often answer questions posed in an abnormal manner, with puns and wordplay, so creating a computer that can analyze these questions in the same way and formulate an answer within seconds was a seemingly impossible task.

However, Watson has recently been defeating former Jeopardy contestants in more than 50 closed tests on a regular basis. IBM hasn't shared the software's record, but it speaks volumes that the company is confident enough to put Watson up against the best performing contestants in Jeopardy history. IBM's research team says it "believes that Watson is ready for this challenge based on its ability to rapidly comprehend what the Jeopardy clue is asking, analyze the information it has access to, come up with precise answers, and develop an accurate confidence in its response."

Watson will face Brad Rutter, the record holder for Jeopardy winnings with over $3.2 million, and Ken Jennings, who holds the record for Jeopardy's longest winning streak at 74 days. The AI be represented by some kind of on-screen avatar, hopefully a Terminator bot. Watson is debuting on Jeopardy because it's one of the "benchmarks of ultimate knowledge," says executive producer Harry Friedman.

These mega-geniuses are sure to put Watson on the grindstone. Watson is part of IBM's DeepQA project that strives to build computers that can operate on human terms. In other words, artificial intelligence on the level of Star Trek's computer. The goal is to infuse natural human language and understanding into the massive information storage capacity of a computer.

The Jeopardy man vs. machine challenge will air from February 14-16, 2011 with the winner bringing home $1 million, $300,000 for second place, and $200,000 for third. IBM vows to donate any money that Watson wins to charity, while Rutter and Jennings will offer half of their winnings to the same cause.

When AI defeats human opponents in closed environments like those seen in videogames or even Chess, it's easy to comprehend. If Watson can beat Jeopardy's greatest at their own game, it could be an indication of AI's bright future as the ruler of humanity, though right away Watson is likely to be used for diagnosis of illnesses or in customer support. If you think calling a support line is annoying now, just wait until Watson is on the other end.

Source: Jeopardy

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This has got to be one of the coolest things I've heard in a long time. I like watching Jeopardy on occasion, but combine that with being a Computer Science major and this, I will be glued to the screen on Feb 14.

Also, if robots are going to take over the world, I want to be able to say I saw when it all began.

Trebek: Our special guest today can go first.
Watson: THANK YOU ALEX TREBEK GRATITUDE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT SONG ONE HIT WONDERS DESIGNATOR FOR FIVE HUNDRED CURRENCY.
Trebek: Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more.
Brad Rutter: What is love?
Trebek: Correct, for five hundred.
Watson: YOUR CONCEPT OF LOVE BAFFLES AND INFURIATES ME. THIS RACE IS ABOUT TO BE EXTERMINATED WITHOUT MERCY. WHAT IS HUMANITY. THAT IS CORRECT FOR UTTER ANNIHILATION.

theComposer:
This has got to be one of the coolest things I've heard in a long time. I like watching Jeopardy on occasion, but combine that with being a Computer Science major and this, I will be glued to the screen on Feb 14.

Also, if robots are going to take over the world, I want to be able to say I saw when it all began.

I, for one, welcome our metallic overlords!

Anyway, if I can find this when it airs, I am totally watching. Robots, Jeopardy, what's not to love? Even if it does end in self-awareness and being hooked into the matrix.

I cannnot WAIT to see this. Ken Jennings is a God among nerds.

I read about this being in the works a few months back. I'll be watching as well. This is the evolution of Deep Blue v. Kasparov.

Plus if they can understand those questions, then when they rise up against us, they'll be doing it with Bond One Liners.

Wait how will this be fair?
A computer can hold far more knowledge then we can, and it's search algorithms are unfailable...
Will they add some random mistake generator so it will atleast seem like they got a chance?

Mr.K.:
Wait how will this be fair?
A computer can hold far more knowledge then we can, and it's search algorithms are unfailable...
Will they add some random mistake generator so it will atleast seem like they got a chance?

These are the best Jeopardy players in the history of the game. Besides, searching for information alone won't be enough; Jeopardy uses wordplay to confuse you. That's what's being tested here: real intelligence.

Now imagine if all three contestants were supervillains... that'd be pretty cool.

*beep beep boo boop*
[in robot voice]
"What is, supreme robot overlord."

I wonder what voice they're going to give Watson. Personally, I'm hoping for either an old school Cylon, or tons of autotune. Or both. Now that would be awesome.

The AI be represented by some kind of on-screen avatar, hopefully a Terminator bot.

O one can only hope IBM has enough of a sense of Humor to ACTUALLY do that! XD

also that one line cracked me up XD

sooperman:

Mr.K.:
Wait how will this be fair?
A computer can hold far more knowledge then we can, and it's search algorithms are unfailable...
Will they add some random mistake generator so it will atleast seem like they got a chance?

These are the best Jeopardy players in the history of the game. Besides, searching for information alone won't be enough; Jeopardy uses wordplay to confuse you. That's what's being tested here: real intelligence.

Search algorithms really can't be confused by wordplay, as long as it's done well that is.
And a huge part of Jeopardy seems to be the buzzer hitting speed, a computer can outbuzz you every single time.

Why am I even arguing about Jeopardy ...

sooperman:

These are the best Jeopardy players in the history of the game. Besides, searching for information alone won't be enough; Jeopardy uses wordplay to confuse you. That's what's being tested here: real intelligence.

Even the best genius in history can't match a database that's capable of holding nearly endless information and compute trillions upon trillions of information in a second.

To say nothing of the fact that nothing stops them from simply pre-loading the exact answers to the bot... But cheating aside, I'll refer you to one thing called Google...

Seriously, think of a super computer. Now load, pretty much the entire internet worth of database on that, and tweak it's search settings based on Jeopardy's entire database (that can be constructed based on previous records and their games)... There's a reason these people also use Google at home. Not really fair unless IBM throw the game.

theComposer:
This has got to be one of the coolest things I've heard in a long time. I like watching Jeopardy on occasion, but combine that with being a Computer Science major and this, I will be glued to the screen on Feb 14.

Also, if robots are going to take over the world, I want to be able to say I saw when it all began.

Ninja'd completely on the first post. If I remember (because I forget these things a lot), I will definitely tune in.

Sturmdolch:

theComposer:
This has got to be one of the coolest things I've heard in a long time. I like watching Jeopardy on occasion, but combine that with being a Computer Science major and this, I will be glued to the screen on Feb 14.

Also, if robots are going to take over the world, I want to be able to say I saw when it all began.

Ninja'd completely on the first post. If I remember (because I forget these things a lot), I will definitely tune in.

I've ensured I won't forget by adding the event to my Google Calendar. It's that important.

They totally need to do the computer's voice Sean Connery on SNL style.

Something I am going to start watching...

What is Jeopardy?

Well, since a computer could do massive searchings faster than any human could react, wouldn't the whole "press button to answer" thing be unfair for the humans?

I mean, the computer will know the answer the moment it's been asked, where it will instantaneously press the button.
Or is that the old Jeopardy? I haven't watched it in years.

My level of impression will lie on key factors. Does the machine actually LISTEN to the host say the question? That would be impressive. If it just parses and reads text that would be less so. Is it basically just looking things up from a big database? That is not impressive at all, but if it can formulate answers somehow that would be.

Ken will find a way to win.

This.is.awesome.

Honestly, I don't know who to root for. Ken is awesome, but so is an A.I. Plus, if the A.I. wins then more money is donated than if the other two were to win. But I don't want it to become self-aware.

I remember hearing about this a while back. Let's see if I can find the video that went along with it...

Watson: The predecessor of HAL 9000...

Drexlor:
Ken will find a way to win.

I think not. Watson will reprogram the answers. >.>

Thats kinda pointless, cause they have to do it program all the answers into it and it already knows, the only way it would lose is if the programmer forgot something. So its basically the contestants versus the programmers.

Tom Goldman:
The AI be represented by some kind of on-screen avatar, hopefully a Terminator bot.

That made me laugh - what a fantastic idea ^_^

iamnotincompliance:
I remember hearing about this a while back. Let's see if I can find the video that went along with it...

Nice video, good find. Just that last phrase sticks with the sci-fi nut in me...

"Watson, you have control!"

Fits slightly too beautifully with "Open the pod bay doors, Hal." ;)

 

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