supercomputer challenged two human contestants in a game of "Jeopardy!"
Monday, resulting in a tie between the computer and one of its human competitors.
supercomputer, named Watson, is a computing system developed by IBM that
utilizes Question Answering (QA) technology. Eight universities collaborated
with IBM researchers to create Watson, including Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, University of Southern California, University of Texas at Austin,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University at Albany, University of
Massachusetts Amherst, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Trento in
capable of identifying the correct answer to
a question through the use of a large database of information with its
15-trillion-byte memory and 2,880 processor cores. Watson does not have access
to the Internet while playing "Jeopardy!".
"Jeopardy!" match included Watson, and human contestants Brad Rutter
and Ken Jennings. Rutter is "Jeopardy's!" all-time money-winner with
$3.25 million winnings, and Jennings has the longest winning streak with 74
games in all of "Jeopardy!" history.
began with categories like Olympic Oddities, Name the Decade, Alternate
Meanings and Beatles People. Rutter was the first to answer a question
correctly, choosing Alternate Meanings for $200.
Watson quickly took over the game,
choosing Alternate Meanings for $400. The question requested a four-letter word
for the iron fitting on the hoof of a horse or a card-dealing box in a
is a shoe?" said Watson, answering the question correctly.
continued answering questions correctly, racking up a score of $4,000 while
Rutter and Jennings sat at a low $200. But the human contestants didn't give
up. Rutter began his streak of correct answers to catch up with the
may have a wide database of information helping him answer a lot of questions
correctly, but Watson doesn't get it right every single time. Throughout the
game, Watson made quite a few mistakes.
point, Jennings was asked which decade Oreo cookies were introduced, and he
answered incorrectly with the 1920's. Watson jumped to answer the question next
and said "What is 1920's?"
Ken said that," said Alex Trebek, the host of "Jeopardy!"
also answered "Stylish elegance, or students who all graduated in the same
year" in the Alternate Meanings category incorrectly with the word
"chic," when the answer was "class."
misses questions mainly because Watson doesn't always understand the context
for "Jeopardy!" clues, which are usually word associations with the
category titles, or puns.
end of Monday's match, Watson and Rutter tied with $5,000 while Jennings was
left in third place with $2,000.
Watson is being used for "Jeopardy!" right now, researchers
hope the supercomputer can eventually be used in
"data-heavy" field like engineering and medicine.
"Jeopardy!" match will continue Tuesday and Wednesday where two
complete games will be broadcasted. The first-place winner will receive $1
million, while he who finishes in second place will receive $300,000 and third
place receives $200,000.