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IBM Television Games

'Jeopardy!' To Pit Humans Against IBM Machine 164

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the there-can-be-only-one dept.
digitaldc writes "The game show Jeopardy! will pit man versus machine this winter in a competition that will show how successful scientists are in creating a computer that can mimic human intelligence. Two of the venerable game show's most successful champions — Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter — will play two games against 'Watson,' a computer program developed by IBM's artificial intelligence team. The matches will be spread over three days that will air Feb. 14-16, the game show said on Tuesday. The competition is reminiscent of when IBM developed a chess-playing computer to compete against chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997."
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'Jeopardy!' To Pit Humans Against IBM Machine

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  • Wordplay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @10:43AM (#34545890)

    A computer will be much better at facts. So it's mostly a question of grammar. And the hardest problem is likely figuring out wordplay, which occasionally comes up in jeopardy.

  • that depends... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by captainpanic (1173915) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @10:47AM (#34545950)

    A computer will be much better at facts. So it's mostly a question of grammar. And the hardest problem is likely figuring out wordplay, which occasionally comes up in jeopardy.

    Depends. Is the computer allowed to use wikipedia (during the show, or somewhere in the past)?

    Otherwise, the computer knows only as much as the programmers have taught it.

  • by JackOfAllGeeks (1034454) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @10:51AM (#34546024)
    It's Jeopardy -- the question must be given in the form of an answer.
  • Re:that depends... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AaxelB (1034884) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @11:04AM (#34546186)

    Depends. Is the computer allowed to use wikipedia (during the show, or somewhere in the past)?

    Otherwise, the computer knows only as much as the programmers have taught it.

    Asking whether it's allowed to use an archived (or, more likely, well-indexed) copy of wikipedia is like asking whether the human contestants are allowed to remember something they read on wikipedia. There's no question that computers can store more information than humans; that's not what this is testing, and it's probably a fair guess that "Watson" will have the answer to most every question asked. The hard part, however, is parsing the clues and understanding what they're looking for with a reasonable degree of accuracy, and doing so faster than the human contestants. Humans are great at this sort of thing, and it's really hard to write a program that does it at all well.

1 + 1 = 3, for large values of 1.

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