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IBM Computer Program To Take On 'Jeopardy!'

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the i-wouldn't-do-that-alex dept.

IBM 213

longacre writes "I.B.M. plans to announce Monday that it is in the final stages of completing a computer program to compete against human 'Jeopardy!' contestants. If the program beats the humans, the field of artificial intelligence will have made a leap forward. ... The team is aiming not at a true thinking machine but at a new class of software that can 'understand' human questions and respond to them correctly. Such a program would have enormous economic implications. ... The proposed contest is an effort by I.B.M. to prove that its researchers can make significant technical progress by picking "grand challenges" like its early chess foray. The new bid is based on three years of work by a team that has grown to 20 experts in fields like natural language processing, machine learning and information retrieval. ... Under the rules of the match that the company has negotiated with the 'Jeopardy!' producers, the computer will not have to emulate all human qualities. It will receive questions as electronic text. The human contestants will both see the text of each question and hear it spoken by the show's host, Alex Trebek. ... Mr. Friedman added that they were also thinking about whom the human contestants should be and were considering inviting Ken Jennings, the 'Jeopardy!' contestant who won 74 consecutive times and collected $2.52 million in 2004."

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213 comments

Great... more phone-bots (2, Funny)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729637)

Why employ real people when you can annoy the hell out of everyone who calls in by subjecting them to yet another tier of phone-bots.

Re:Great... more phone-bots (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27730877)

Why employ real people when you can annoy the hell out of everyone who calls in by subjecting them to yet another tier of phone-bots.

Or reverse it:

1) Use on telemarketers that call you.
2) Record
3) ...
4) Profit

The code name (5, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729641)

Sources say the code-name for IBM's project is "Connery".

Trebek : This nobleman is believed to have written many of Shakespeare's works.

"Connery" : [pause] So that's your game, is it, Trebek? I was a coveted performer among the brothel ladies while you were still pissing your knee-pants, boy.

Trebek : Can one of the IBM people fix the computer?

"Connery" : Your mother's a whore. But don't feel badly, Trebek. She's not a very good one. Ha ha, ha ha!

Re:The code name (5, Funny)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729925)

IBM: I'll take Jap Anus Relations for $200.
...
TREBEK: I'm sorry, that's "Japan US Relations." That's just awful and you know it.

Re:The code name (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730893)

The computer only needs to alternate between two questions: "Ham and cheese on rye?" and "Do they make them for men?". Throw in the occasional "A trick question!" for completeness.

what is frosty piss? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27729651)

the beverage of choice while eating my asshole!

first??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27729679)

i hope this computer can respond with yes or no :)

Leap Forward? (3, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729695)

I.B.M. plans to announce Monday that it is in the final stages of completing a computer program to compete against human 'Jeopardy!' contestants. If the program beats the humans, the field of artificial intelligence will have made a leap forward.

In what way would this be a leap forward? Looking up trivial facts in a database and spitting them out is easy, and not particularly significant...

Re:Leap Forward? (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729817)

In what way would this be a leap forward?

Exactly what I was thinking. It sounds like they plan to connect voice recognition software to Google.

Re:Leap Forward? (5, Informative)

bheer (633842) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729929)

According to TFA, the machine will get its questions as machine-readable text. The other human contestants will get it as text and audio. Also, the machine will not be connected to the internet.

Re:Leap Forward? (4, Insightful)

Bandman (86149) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730041)

The step forward will be parsing the english language.

I hope it remembers to phrase its answers in the form of a question.

Re:Leap Forward? (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730753)

I hope it remembers to phrase its answers in the form of a question.

Trivial. Word 1 of the question is "WHO" if answer is a person else "WHAT". Word 2 is "ARE" if answer is plural else "IS". Parsing Mr. Trebek's "answer" in three seconds, as you pointed out, is the hard part.

Re:Leap Forward? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27730827)

Computer: I'll take this has been done before in the 60s for $2000, Alex.

Alex: And here's the clue: It makes little sense to parse English when this technique can be used instead, at a lower cost of development and higher success rate.

Computer: What is anchoring the words "this/that" in the clue to obtain the "type" of the response (i.e "this author", "this composer", "this country"), and reply with the database entry with the highest correlation to other words in the clue.

Alex: Correct. We'll be back after this messages.

p.s. I'd like to see the computer solve one of the video daily doubles.

Re:Leap Forward? (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729823)

Exactly what I was thinking. Googling for the answer would provide the question (heck, `I'm feeling lucky' would probably get you the correct response in the title of the returned page).

Re:Leap Forward? (3, Funny)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729919)

Exactly what I was thinking.

Jinx! You owe me a Coke.

Re:Leap Forward? (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730095)

You could have typed that up to a minute apart. We'll need to see the logs that include seconds in order to see if a coke is warranted.

Re:Leap Forward? (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730143)

We'll need to see the logs that include seconds in order to see if a coke is warranted.

Technically, my post was before Prof.Phreak since the commenting system posts comments chronologically. However, we don't know if they were a millisecond apart or 59 seconds apart.

Re:Leap Forward? (4, Insightful)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730013)

Tried it with "this playwright authored hamlet".
Didn't work:
http://shakespeareauthorship.com/imham.html [shakespear...orship.com]

If you just pulled words from the title, you might select "Oxfordian".
True, the answer is in the URL - but how do you know which to take?

Re:Leap Forward? (2, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730719)

Yup. Natural language processing is a piece of piss until you actually *try* it. Along similar lines, I once heard an anecdote that computer vision was first attempted when it was given to a graduate student whilst all the professional researchers were busy with board games. It hadn't occurred to anybody it might be difficult.

Re:Leap Forward? (1)

Paul Fodor (1417539) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730309)

The Jeopardy computer won't be connected to Internet. So, all they can access is the knowledge stored on the computer.

Re:Leap Forward? (4, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729863)

Parsing the questions in natural language, which is the goal here, is however very much *not* trivial. Doubly so since the clues and questions in a Jeopardy! game are usually at least somewhat obfuscated, contain puns, double entendres, etc...

Re:Leap Forward? (5, Insightful)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730003)

Doubly so since the clues and questions in a Jeopardy! game are usually at least somewhat obfuscated, contain puns, double entendres, etc...

This is exactly why this sounds so implausible to me. You often have to take the category name and weave it in with the question (or rather, answer). A lot depends not on the knowledge, but on the phrasing of the "queries". Give me one example of translation software which can translate entire paragraphs well.

It makes me wonder how much "stress testing" they've done, by taking old Jeopardy questions and seeing if the output would be considered "correct" by a human arbiter.

Re:Leap Forward? (2, Insightful)

Bandman (86149) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730079)

That's the sort of thing that makes me believe that this team may be able to succeed.

When Deep Blue went up against Kasperov, who could it practice against? Nobody.

There are tens of thousands of Jeopardy! questions to go through before they start making up their own.

Re:Leap Forward? (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730327)

It could have played against pretty much any chess player (apart, obviously, from kasperov). And it could have done it and determined who won for itself.

You need a *human* to determine if the answer is correct in this case.

Re:Leap Forward? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27730741)

How could it player any chess player and yet not involve another human?

Re:Leap Forward? (2, Insightful)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730953)

You don't need a human to determine who won a chess match. Winning is absolute.

You need a human to judge if the answer to a question, its phrasing, and its context were correct.

Re:Leap Forward? (2, Insightful)

lelitsch (31136) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730617)

When Deep Blue went up against Kasperov, who could it practice against? Nobody.

That this got modded Insightful is the best argument yet for adding tags to /.

Re:Leap Forward? (4, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730683)

That's the sort of thing that makes me believe that this team may be able to succeed.

When Deep Blue went up against Kasperov, who could it practice against? Nobody.

There are tens of thousands of Jeopardy! questions to go through before they start making up their own.

Well it did practice against other grandmasters, and it analyzed every game Kasparov had every played, where Kasparov went into the match blind.

Re:Leap Forward? (2, Funny)

Joey Vegetables (686525) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730167)

This is exactly why this sounds so implausible to me. You often have to take the category name and weave it in with the question (or rather, answer). A lot depends not on the knowledge, but on the phrasing of the "queries". Give me one example of translation software which can translate entire paragraphs well.

Sure! From my handy-dandy English-to-Tech Manual-to-English translator:

According to precise how from unlikely sounding me hereto. Must needs question category name sewing needle rapprochement. Mucho lots of good knowling head phrases queryig well; show you macihine human texts swimmingly.

Not that immediately novel (1)

msbmsb (871828) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730405)

Parsing of the questions is the really difficult part of QA. However, the usage of category names isn't something brand new in the field. See the NIST TREC [slashdot.org] Question Answering [nist.gov] competition. The last [nist.gov] couple [nist.gov] of years' challenges involved a group of questions referencing a "target" and/or the previous question or previous answer to correctly formulate the current answer.

Example:
TARGET: John William King convicted of murder
Q1: How many non-white members of the jury were there?
Q3: Where was the trial held?
Q4: When was King convicted?
Q5: Who was the victim of the murder?

Re:Leap Forward? (2, Insightful)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730071)

Parsing the questions in natural language,

Natural language?

Outside of a Jeopardy! gameshow, I have never heard anybody use the this type of phrasing.

"This is a reason for you not handing in your homework Johnny"

"Why is because my dog ate it, sir"

Yeah, sounds very natural :-)

Re:Leap Forward? (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730247)

While I do agree this is a pretty difficult task, in a sense it will be easier for the computer. All of the questions are valid and parsable and correct for the answer. The computer won't get tripped up or chuckle to itself over the puns, etc. It'll just get to the answer.

Re:Leap Forward? (3, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729873)

Did you even read the summary?

The leap forward is not in being able to look up facts in a database, it is in being able to interpret written questions properly.

There's a lot involved in interpreting natural language, and so far computers have been a far cry from being able to do it well. It says something that these algorithms are being tested against Jeopardy answers, since those are not completely natural language either -- they've been screened and edited to remove ambiguity.

Re:Leap Forward? (4, Insightful)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729953)

I would think the challenge would lie in recognizing the question for what it is. E.g. "This playwright authored Hamlet" could confuse a computer - is it talking about Hamlet the play or literally a small town? Easy if you're human, not so easy if you're a computer. (From TFA: "The system must be able to deal with analogies, puns, double entendres and relationships like size and location, all at lightning speed.") I would imagine that the rhyming categories would be especially difficult.

Re:Leap Forward? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730087)

Rhyming categories, anagrams, the dreaded Before and After, slightly stupid answers, one letter off...

There's loads of categories they come up with that don't just rely on trivia knowledge but how to interpret the question.

Re:Leap Forward? (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730311)

actually rhyming is pretty easy, once yuo have the candidates for correct answer, soundex is common and actually very good. My application for address parsing and matching contains some logic for mispellings and rhyming and "sounds like" because people tend to jot down what they hear, I was shocked that it took like 30 minutes to add this functionality using Soundex from Apache Commons Codec...

hell, you can SQL query with Soundex nowadays.

Re:Leap Forward? (1)

msbmsb (871828) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730573)

I don't think current QA systems would be confused by that question, actually. In the simplest case of just keyword searching for the appropriate passage, the occurence of "author" with a type of town called "hamlet" will be far smaller than "author" with the play name "Hamlet". Not to mention some systems will pre-mark "Hamlet" as some category precluding a town (like "play"). This lack of co-occurrence also assists statistical methods when learning.

The rhyming and puns will be the more difficult tasks to handle.

Re:Leap Forward? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730069)

Both game playing and language processing are considered problems that full under the domain "AI."

Re:Leap Forward? (4, Funny)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730133)

In what way would this be a leap forward?

Well, at least a computer program will bother to RTFA.

Re:Leap Forward? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27730781)

Not if the computer program was reading Slashdot.

Re:Leap Forward? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27730261)

God how I love the hilariously inept peanut gallery on Slashdot. Everything is "easy", so long as all you have to do is criticize it and not implement it. If it is as trivial as you claim, then why not start up a "Team Slashdot" to take IBM down a notch?

Re:Leap Forward? (5, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730659)

Being able to beat a human at Jeapordy is a fairly substantial subset of the Turing test sorted.

Natural language processing is an absolute and total bitch - take it someone who has studied it. One of my AI professors once explained it to me such; the human brain tricks you into believing the hardest tasks it accomplishes are the easiest. Stuff like language, walking, and so on take up far much more of your neural hardware than what you would consider 'thinking' - but it all happens subconsciously.

No, it isn't Artificial Intelligence per se - there is no real 'understanging' or 'intelligence' behind it -but it is a very serious technical challenge. There is a lot more to it than simply dumping Jeopardy questions into a standard search engines.

Don't take my word for it. Load up your favourite editor or IDE and start coding a simple chat bot. The difficulties that IBM must have overcome are best discovered through experience.

Wierd (4, Funny)

Ded Bob (67043) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729705)

Anyone else hearing "I Lost on Jeopardy" in their heads at the moment?

Re:Weird Al (or is it A.I.?) (5, Funny)

O-Deka-K (1520371) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729865)

Anyone else hearing "I Lost on Jeopardy" in their heads at the moment?

Now I am. Thanks for that. Jerk.

Re:Wierd (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27730511)

Oh-oh-oh-oh

I was there to match my intellect on national TV
Against a plumber, oh, and an architect, both with a PHD
I was tense, I was nervous, I guess it just wasnt my night
Art Fleming gave the answers
Oh, but I couldnt get the questions right, -ight, -ight

I lost on jeopardy, baby (oooh)
I lost on jeopardy, baby (oooh)

Well, I knew I was in trouble now
My hope of winning sank
Oh, cause I got the daily double now
And then my mind went blank
I took potpourri for one hundred
And then my head started to spin
Well, I'm givin' up
Don Pardo: Just tell me now what I didnt win, yeah, yeah

I lost on jeopardy, baby (oooh)
I lost on jeopardy, baby (oooh)

Thats right, Al--you lost.
And let me tell you what you didnt win: a twenty volume set of the encyclopedia international, a case of turtle wax, and a years supply of rice-a-roni, the San Francisco treat.
But that's not all.
You also made yourself look like a jerk in front of millions of people.
You brought shame and disgrace to your family name for generations to come.
You dont get to back tomorrow.
You dont even get a lousy copy of our home game.
You're a complete loser!

Don't know what I was thinkin of
I guess I just wasnt too bright
Well, I sure hope I do better
Next weekend on the price is right, -ight, -ight

I lost on jeopardy, baby (oooh)
I lost on jeopardy, baby (oooh)
I lost on jeopardy, baby

Jeopardy really that challenging? (1)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729743)

I know the exercise is not in the google-fu of a computer but in its ability to interpret Trebeck's questions as well as answer in the right form but Jeopardy hints and questions are very well-formed. That is, it doesn't contain much if any of the ambiguities of normal speech.

"This city was formed by the brothers Romulus and Remus"
Answer "What is Rome"

Seems a fairly easy speech pattern. A more interesting challenge would be Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

see the question here .. (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729867)

What would be a good definition of the program in relation to online search resources such as Google. How would the program match up against the vagueness inherent in normal human speech patterns.

Re:Jeopardy really that challenging? (1)

papna (1242200) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729891)

On the other hand, WWTBAM questions have a limited answer pool whereas Jeopardy! questions are generally open-ended. Also, much of the information that can help you in Jeopardy! questions are concealed (often with some sort of joke) in the category and clue, which would be hard to parse. Oftentimes an entirely-right answer might just not fit a category, and the category is phrased such that it is not horribly straightforward literally.

With some google-fu, I bet it would be very possible to make a bot that would do well on WWTBAM with no real AI because of the limited response pool.

Re:Jeopardy really that challenging? (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730117)

I'm pretty sure it would get the elephant/moon question wrong too.

"Which is bigger, the elephant or the moon?"

Obviously, the moon is bigger, but to provide that answer requires the knowledge that "bigger" in this case meant actual size, not appearance.

Re:Jeopardy really that challenging? (2, Insightful)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730539)

Actually, yes, it is. See, it's not just general knowledge, but, as about 9 billion other people in this thread pointed out, there are puns and other wordplay often involved.

What do you think the proper Jeopardy answer to this question is (in the category "Much Ado" for $100):

"It's the spirit that gets things done."

Answer: What is "can do"

The $500 version might be something like, "This recently hip-again party favorite was first created in New York."

Answer: What is "fondue"

Both of those are pretty easy examples. Both require the computer to "get" the wordplay in the topic (aDO), one requires that it understand that pronunciation of the word in the answer is the key, and numerous other things that I probably take for granted but are rather non-trivial things for a computer to do.

If they can get the machine doing reasonably well on those kinds of questions for Jeopardy, I'd love to see them go after "You Don't Know Jack" next. I've seen many reasonably bright people completely unable to handle that game when it came to the punny or obfuscated questions.

Re:Jeopardy really that challenging? (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730689)

> A more interesting challenge would be Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

All expectations would be on IBM's advanced AI winning Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Yet despite those expectations we would be thrilled to see a young, plucky A.I. that grew up in dirt poverty in the video game arcades of Detroit manage to win through the cooincidence of the questions all relating to events in the young A.I.s life; Questions such as "In Defender, the protagonist rides on the back of (A) An Elephant (B) A Horse (C) An Ostrich (D) A Camel?" The young A.I. would overcome setbacks, such as an egotistical firewall having the young A.I. beaten... but in the end the young A.I. would triumph!

Re:Jeopardy really that challenging? (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730917)

It's a good step forwards, and a more concrete target than the Turing test (which I suspect is going to be convincingly passed soon not due to machine intelligence but due to the increasing stupidity of Internet discourse). Despite sounding trivial, this is quite valid AI research - plus, of course, some good publicity for IBM.

I'd take Jennings (4, Insightful)

Paul Pierce (739303) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729771)

That guy will beat anyone.

The problem they might run into is the speed of pressing the button to respond. I would imagine the computer would be able to beat the human every time it knew the answer.

Wolfram Alpha (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729775)

Is this fundamentally different from Wolfram Alpha [slashdot.org] in its approach?

And does this really fall under "supercomputing"? Couldn't this be done in a distributed fashion?

Jeopardy doesn't work that way (5, Funny)

cjh79 (754103) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729797)

FTA: The team is aiming not at a true thinking machine but at a new class of software that can 'understand' human questions and respond to them correctly.

I feel like someone should tell them how Jeopardy works... That thing isn't going to have too many questions to respond to.

Except at the "meet the contestant" part, maybe, which by the way should be fascinating.

I have a prediction for the meet the contestant... (2, Funny)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730185)

Except at the "meet the contestant" part, maybe, which by the way should be fascinating.

"So, computer, you're about two months old, and you grew up in IBM's labs, right?"

"Bite my shiny metal ass"

Is this what we really want? (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729869)

Super quiz challenge computers that will one day rule us all in the form of a question?!

Re:Is this what we really want? (4, Funny)

HasselhoffThePaladin (1191269) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730093)

Robot: This is place where your papers are.

Subjugated Human: What is my home?

Robot: That is the incorrect question. Please follow me to a "processing station".

Not AI just Google with a filter (1, Troll)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729907)

The questions to stump IBM here (beyond the "A Computer Company who supplied calculating equipment to Nazi Germany" A: Who are IBM) are those in which the language is against them.

Looking up from ANSWER keywords and then having a choice of "Who is" or "What is" to put in front of the key word isn't that hard. (This is Google's take on the Nazi/Computing challege [google.co.uk] ).

This is a clear brute force rather than AI challenge as you are looking at filtering potentials based on the ANSWER to a question in which the answer is normally a specific noun or short phrase, remembering to put "Who is" or "What is".

What would make it harder would be the use of descriptions that are made famous by a third party (e.g. Marcus Brigstock v David Blane and the term "Git Wizard" [google.co.uk] ) which would require actual inference on the data sets to determine against whom it is applied.

This isn't AI, its keyword matching back to a noun and Google already does a decent job of that.

Nice marketing though

Re:Not AI just Google with a filter (1)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730101)

AI doth never prosper, what's the reason? If it prosper, none dare call it AI.

We've been seeing this since Turing and the Turing test. If it is an unsolved, apparently open ended problem, it must be an AI application. As soon as someone figures out how to do it, it wasn't really AI after all, just an obscure, but somehow also mainstream, technique to be worked out. They move the goal posts and say AI is now over there in that other unsolved problem.

Two words... (1)

dword (735428) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729969)

Kerbet Xela

Re:Two words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27730253)

Kerbet Xela

I believe you wanted - Kebert Xela. Instead you have Alex Tebrek.

if this computer uses Google, (2, Funny)

archangel9 (1499897) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729981)

God help us if Jeopardy comes out with an answer containing the words "accidentally" and "the whole thing".

This is how it starts (5, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#27729987)

After years of trying to kill John Connors, Skynet realized its failure to achieve victory through brute strength and went back in time with a new objective: to win all human gameshows and use the prize money to buy off the entire planet instead.

Re:This is how it starts (4, Funny)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730199)

new objective: to win all human gameshows and use the prize money to buy off the entire planet instead.

I think Pinky and the Brain [wikipedia.org] already used that plot device.

And... then... maybe... (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730033)

It... will... learn how... to write like... this one day... just like.... you...

Stand by your sentences. End them with a single punctuation mark like a real man.

Logs (2, Interesting)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730091)

logs or it didn't happen! what they did to Kasparov was bullshit! Seriously if this magically gets better at 1/2 time, the least they can do is show the logs

Past Jeopardy questions (2, Informative)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730169)

http://www.j-archive.com/listseasons.php [j-archive.com]

Anyone who thinks this is a trivial project has never watched Jeopardy.

While there are some of the typical "This is the capitol of Alaska" questions (answers), the real challenge (and the real money) is in the second round of the show where more ingenuity is usually required.

Re:Past Jeopardy questions (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730245)

As a random example, take this answer from Super Jeopardy! show #13 - Saturday, September 8, 1990:

The category is 6-LETTER WORDS:

"The second book of the Old Testament & the event described there"

A computer might have an easy time with the first half of that answer, but I think the "& the even described there" part would confuse the crap out of many AI programs.

Re:Past Jeopardy questions (2, Funny)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730605)

Anyone who thinks this is a trivial project has never watched Jeopardy.

Um... hello? Jeopardy is a trivia game show.

j/k

Does it take more than eleventy billion... (1)

lelitsch (31136) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730193)

...calculations to come up with "Oh, I'll bet you do, you Canadian ponch."?

--------
stupid subject character limit

You Fail iT (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27730225)

your own bber user. 'Now that reasons why anyone

Buzzing In (3, Interesting)

lefiz (1475731) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730333)

I'll be very curious to see how well the computer buzzes in--which proves very challenging for some Jeopardy contestants. There is a visual cue given to the contenstants (a light around the question board--you can't see it on the TV) which let's everyone know when it is ok to buzz in. If you buzz in too early, you get locked out for a few seconds, effectively ruining your chance of answering. I wonder how the computer will know when to buzz in (if its not taking the visual cue, will the show tell the computer electronically?) and whether it will have an unfair advantage of being able to buzz at exactly the right moment. Buzzer ability turns out to be a core part of J! success.

Mod parent up (1)

code65536 (302481) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730477)

And me without my mod points!

Yea, that's one of the great challenges, and if you ever watch a high-caliber contest (like the recent Tournament of Champions), you'll notice that the buzzer timing often plays a MORE important role than the actual knowledge.

But this whole IBM thing is just theatrics anyway. The computer has impeccable timing and a limitless database of knowledge. All they are proving is that it can recognize and parse human speech. But they don't need Jeopardy! for that. They could demonstrate that anywhere using any medium that they want. It just so happens that they think that they'll get a bigger spotlight if they do J! (plus, the structure and format of the show will probably make it easier to achieve "success", whereas having the machine recognize day-to-day conversation would be far more difficult).

Should have asked me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27730351)

I could have saved them some time and just told them to Google it.

where's the advance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27730419)

The last AI "advance" made by the folks at IBM was a winning chess program. It's now locked in a vault, so its "advances" are not available to anyone. It isn't an advance if it's a secret. Knowledge in any area only advances if it is shared.

I've already done this: man -vs- machine (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730455)

I had a coworker who was very "special" - socially awkward, multiple degrees, very brilliant, and only slept a few hours a day. I called him Cliff Clavin [wikipedia.org] as he was a master of trivia. We had a game where we would pit his brain against Google + my typing skills. Throughout the day he would randomly stand up and announce some esoteric fact. I would then Google the fact, and try to present another fact equally esoteric. We would go about this until I either stumped him, or he outpaced me. It was very entertaining, informative, and frightening.

I'd say he and Google were tied. Not sure which one could parse natural language better though.

(There was a ST:TNG episode that was very much like this: Data pits himself against a "master of small talk")

But is it this witty? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730523)

Ken Jennings rocks! [youtube.com]

Seriously? I thought they should have given him the cash for the answer. Sounds about right to me.

Your best bet to beat the computer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27730603)

... is to hit it up with some unsolvable math problem or logical contradiction Captain Kirk style!

"This number is commonly referred to as Pi."
"What is 3.14159.....?

Either that or hope the categories are full of puns and wordplay that the computer won't be able to parse.

Already solved (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730649)

The Yahoo/MSN cam bot girls already do this pretty well. The correct question for everything is always, "want to see me naked on cam?"

Have we forgotten about Ken already? (1)

kiwizoid (1531455) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730667)

I thought IBM tried this years ago when they snuck that cyborg, Ken Jennings, onto the show. (This joke would have worked better if he wasn't invited with the program, but it had to be said.)

Understand questions? (1)

eegad (588763) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730861)

Unfortunately, to play Jeopardy, the computer must understand answers and come up with questions. Ok, computer, here's your first answer: 42. We'll have our ancestors check back later for your question.

Category with the answer in the question (1)

hey (83763) | more than 4 years ago | (#27730881)

There is a Jeopardy category where part of the answer is in the category name. Eg would could it "bee"? Where all the answers have the string "bee" in the answer. That kind of question would be easier for a machine than a person.

fri5t Stop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27730941)

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outsourced AI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27730955)

Wonder how long before IBM outsources the programs job to a cheaper program running in India?

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