One final update on Watson

Image of Ken Jennings's final jeopardy response

Ken Jennings is pretty cavalier about losing horribly to a computer

After getting to see a supercomputer obliterate Jeopardy’s two greatest all-time champions, yet another milestone has been reached;  first, a supercomputer defeated the best chess player, and now Jeopardy. Next: race-car driving and musical-theater.

And though it can, maybe, come off as scary to some people, it’s important to remember that this isn’t exactly an omen of computers dominating humankind. This computer was programmed by humans, and so the people behind it are the real champions.

So you should watch this panel discussion which was conducted post-game, with some of the lead workers behind Watson.

Some cool topics they cover: how it answers questions, how much it cost to make, what Watson’s job will be now that it’s played Jeopardy, and why Watson got the final jeopardy question so wrong.

Speaking of which, it’s worth mentioning. From the IBM page for Watson: “Watson’s developers were puzzled by his flub in the Final Jeopardy!segment. The category was US Cities, and the answer was: ‘Its largest airport was named for a World War II hero; its second largest, for a World War II battle.’ The two human contestants, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, wrote “What is Chicago?” for its O’Hare and Midway, but Watson’s response was a lame ‘What is Toronto???'”

Pretty silly stuff!

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