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Skynet...ummm...Watson to compete on Jeopardy!

The producers of Jeopardy! and IBM are in discussions to allow an IBM supercomputer known as Watson to compete on the show against human competition. According to The New York Times, if Watson is able to beat the human competition the field of artificial intelligence will have made a leap forward.

IBM has had success in the past building super computers that were able to best human competitors. In 1997, IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer was able to defeat chess world champion Garry Kasparov in a match.

The difference between chess where all pieces have a known value and Jeopardy! is that the trivia questions asked in the game show have a wide and greatly varying range of relationships. These relationships are open to interpretation and the interpretations have to be made very quickly.

The IBM researchers who created Watson -- an homage to IBM founder Thomas J. Watson Sr. -- have said that they are not confident yet that their creation could compete well on the show. The New York Times reports that human champions are able to provide correct response 85% of the time to questions asked.

David A. Ferrucci, an AI researcher at IBM said, "The big goal is to get computers to be able to converse in human terms. And we’re not there yet.”

The contest is an effort by the IBM engineers to choose "grand challenges" that will help them make significant technical progress in AI. The rules proposed for the contest will force Watson to emulate all human qualities. Questions posed to Watson will be in text format while players will see text and hear the questions spoken by the show's host.

The computer will offer answers to the question via a synthesized voice and will choose its own follow up categories. IBM says that for the show, the computer would not be connected to the internet. How Watson will be presented and what gender the computer will be are under consideration. A screen and a projected avatar are one consideration.

Jeopardy! executive producer Harry Friedman said, "We’ve only begun to talk about it. We all agree that it shouldn’t look like Robby the Robot."

IBM will move a Blue Gene supercomputer to L.A. for the show.

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First response from the IBM Supercomputer
By 91TTZ on 4/27/2009 12:15:11 PM , Rating: 6
In a Sean Connery voice: "Suck it, Trebek"

"And the day is mine!"

RE: First response from the IBM Supercomputer
By monomer on 4/27/2009 12:16:25 PM , Rating: 2
"Who's the man now, Dog?"

RE: First response from the IBM Supercomputer
By monomer on 4/27/2009 12:17:16 PM , Rating: 2
Urkkk... "You're..." too early

RE: First response from the IBM Supercomputer
By Souka on 4/27/2009 1:48:51 PM , Rating: 5
Alex Trebek: [ interrupting ] Right, Mr. Connery. why don't you pick?

Sean Connery: It looks like this is my lucky day! I'll take "The Rapists" for $200.

Alex Trebek: That's "Therapists." That's "Therapists," not "The Rapists." Let's skip "Therapists" and try "Household Objects", for $400. And the answer is, "You usually drink water out of one of these." [ Sean Connery buzzes in ] Sean Connery.

Sean Connery: A leather glove!

RE: First response from the IBM Supercomputer
By Hudly on 4/27/2009 2:03:06 PM , Rating: 5
Connery: "I'll take 'Jap Anus Relations' for $300."

Trebek: "That's 'Japan U.S. Relations'."

RE: First response from the IBM Supercomputer
By afkrotch on 4/27/2009 2:32:26 PM , Rating: 1
Trebek: What sound does a dog make?
Connery: Moo
Trebek: That's incorrect.
Connery: Well that's the sound your mother made last night ...

Turd Ferguson!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By Souka on 4/27/2009 4:50:29 PM , Rating: 2
pure awesomeness....

By rcsinfo on 4/28/2009 1:11:52 AM , Rating: 3
Alex Trebek : Mr. Connery. Why don't you pick a category?
Sean Connery : I've got to ask you about the Penis Mightier.
Alex Trebek : What? No. No, no, that is The Pen is Mightier.
Sean Connery : Gussy it up however you want, Trebek. What matters is does it work? Will it really mighty my penis, man?
Alex Trebek : It's not a product, Mr. Connery.
Sean Connery : Because I've ordered devices like that before - wasted a pretty penny, I don't mind telling you. And if The Penis Mightier works, I'll order a dozen.
Alex Trebek : It's not a Penis Mightier, Mr. Connery. There's no such thing!
Nicholas Cage : Wait, wait, wait.. are you selling Penis Mightiers?
Alex Trebek : No! No, I'm not.
Sean Connery : Well, you're sitting on a gold mine, Trebek!

By Chernobyl68 on 4/27/2009 7:03:41 PM , Rating: 4
Anal Bum Cover for $500 Trebek!

That's "An Album Cover" Mr Connery...

By MozeeToby on 4/27/2009 12:38:26 PM , Rating: 3
"Where in the dictionary would you find the word 'cat'"?

"In the R's!!"

"No Sean, not in the R's"

"That's not what your mother said last night, Trebek!"

By mmntech on 4/27/2009 1:00:00 PM , Rating: 2
I thought it would say "Kebert Xela".

RE: First response from the IBM Supercomputer
By chick0n on 4/27/2009 1:15:35 PM , Rating: 1
"Destroy all humans"

By Gul Westfale on 4/27/2009 1:48:45 PM , Rating: 2
"i shall not pay this fine i have incurred!"

"the game is afoot!"

By FITCamaro on 4/27/2009 3:01:22 PM , Rating: 1
So much win here.

Trebek: Final Jeopardy is, just write down a number. Any number........Any number will do........And lets see what Sean Connery wrote.....the number 0? Are we filming this? That is actually a number. Let's see what you wagered..... You wrote down "BOOBS". Well that's all for Jeopardy tonight. I'm going home to put a gun in my mouth.

By MrPeabody on 4/27/2009 3:18:40 PM , Rating: 2
public string GetResponse(string input)
string response;

response = JeopardyAlgorithm.GenerateResponse(input);
response = "Buck Futter!";

return response;

By shin0bi272 on 4/28/2009 12:04:26 AM , Rating: 2
"I'll take swords for 200 alex"

"Its S words!"

By AlexWade on 4/28/2009 8:58:04 AM , Rating: 2
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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