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'Jeopardy!' To Pit Humans Against IBM Machine

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the there-can-be-only-one dept.

IBM 164

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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164 comments

What is first post? (5, Funny)

ardmhacha (192482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34545866)

What is first post?

Re:What is first post? (1)

A Big Gnu Thrush (12795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547174)

What kind of humorless sack would mod this down?

Re:What is first post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34547456)

Thinly disguised "First!" posts are still annoying.

maybe they could make (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34545872)

A computer that can figure out how to keep jobs in america

Wordplay (5, Insightful)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Wordplay (5, Interesting)

nicholas22 (1945330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34545946)

I totally agree with parent. And I believe that this will be comparing apple to oranges, because for humans, memory is being tested, whereas for computers, parsing algorithms and expression tree implementations are being tested.

Re:Wordplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546142)

If they are doing this "correctly" there won't be any text input into the computer. It will need to read the answer from the screen and interact verbally with Alex Trebec just like the human players will. If someone is typing the info into the system or otherwise piping it in, then it isn't really a "test" of the computer's abilities to "play the game better than a human".

Re:Wordplay (1)

nicholas22 (1945330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546182)

Exactly my point. I think for sensationalist reasons they will not feed it manually with info, but still, as I said, apples with oranges...

That's me fucked, then (1)

Helen Keller (842669) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546538)

It will need to read the answer from the screen and interact verbally with Alex Trebec just like the human players will.

Gnnnmeclodmmmmmheh!

Re:Wordplay (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546470)

It's worse than apples and oranges, it is humans and computers.

Of course, unless IBM is advertising that the machine has an actual intellect (rather than having some sort of advanced language parsing capability and such), that isn't a particularly interesting criticism.

Re:Wordplay (4, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546698)

You're drawing a false distinction between a poorly understood electrochemical process (human memory) and a well understood method of simulating the same with silicon.

It's the end result that matters. In this case, since human language and logic are inherently fuzzy, the computer will be at a disadvantage in many cases.

Re:Wordplay (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547606)

I totally agree with parent. And I believe that this will be comparing apple to oranges, because for humans, memory is being tested, whereas for computers, parsing algorithms and expression tree implementations are being tested.

And of course, if the computer beats the humans it won't be *true* artificial intelligence because this is just something that computers do better than humans. We've always known this right?

The more that computers do that we used to define as artificial intelligence, the narrower the definition of artificial intelligence becomes. Pretty soon the definition of artificial intelligence will be carrying on a conversation about the latest General Unification Theory in three languages simultaneously while juggling twelve oranges and bouncing on a pogo stick.

Re:Wordplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34547634)

It will still be interesting to see though. Depending on the algorithms, the human should have an advantage in comprehension as in figuring out what fact they are looking for before the question (or answer in this case) is finished. Also if a human knows the answer, the answer is retrieved (near) instantaneously where the computer will still have to go through its database of knowledge. However, if they wanted the computer to win, they could have it ring in as soon as possible (it will win in reflex skills) and then take the ~5 seconds contestants are allowed to figure out the answer (or question in this case).

that depends... (1, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:that depends... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546156)

Unless there is some rule addressing this problem, the distinction is basically academic. Any programmer good enough to work on this project could trivially just go to wikipedia's database dump download page and wget the latest before the show. Unless it has expanded hugely of late, all the text of wikipedia, including version data, should fit on just a few HDDs, so being disconnected from the live version during the show barely matters.

Same goes for pretty much any other online database, excluding the truly titanic and/or proprietary ones(like "all of Google"). All of wikipedia, all digitized back issues of major newspapers, and the archives of, say, the top 10,000 journals in the sciences and the humanities should, if you are willing to risk not having truly ironclad redundancy, fit on a man-portable disk array. Most can be(with the right subscriptions paid) downloaded swiftly and algorithmically.

Writing the code that lets this sucker "learn"(or at least parse plaintext and give useful responses to questions) will be the hard part; but "teaching" it more general knowledge than any human could hope to possess will just require wget and a fast pipe...

Re:that depends... (1)

Bilbo (7015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546496)

You also need to filter the kind of knowledge you are saving. You don't need in depth scientific journals with a lot of highly specific knowledge, but you might need some trivia on the 14th US president's wife's cooking habits...

Also, the greater the amount of data, the longer it's going to take to look through it. You can only do so much with key words and indexes. This is not only a contest of how accurate you are, but of how fast you can retrieve the information, sometimes even before the entire question has been asked (or in this case, guessing the question before you know the entire answer....)

Re:that depends... (4, Insightful)

AaxelB (1034884) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:that depends... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546936)

From what the article describes, all this IS, is a test of the AI's database mining and parsing abilities.

It does not mention (and probably will not include) any of the following elements of the game:

- Deciding when to start hitting the buzzer. Humans tend to start buzzing before the question is fully revealed if it's a category they feel strong on, and hold off buzzing at all until they know the answer if they feel weaker. This can make a huge difference in the game, as someone who doesn't know as quickly can still win over someone who knows faster but hesitates on the buzzer. (of course it can backfire too)
- Being able to follow Alex's directions. Including answering personal questions during the interview phase, or pausing for the 'commercial breaks', or 'resetting' itself between games. (Jeopardy! is filmed multiple episodes all at once in a marathon session)
- Being able to negotiate the strategy of betting during Double and Final rounds.
- Paying attention to the skill level, performance, and strategy of the other contestants. For example, picking clues out of the live interview segment on what areas your opponents might be more skilled at than others. Also, paying attention to body language such as nervousness, etc.
- Speed of answers and question. There are times that moving the game as fast as possible will benefit you, and other times that it pays off to slow it down. For example: Say only one category is left, and you don't feel strong. But you're ahead in points and the round is nearly over. Pick the cheapest one, and ask for it slowly, very slowly... waste precious seconds your opponents need. Or in the opposite case, pick the expensive one and say it as fast as you can, perhaps even abbreviating words and phrases (quite common to see on the show), in order to get through as many as possible.

There's even more that goes into the game. But this won't be a demonstration of AI vs. computer at Jeopardy!, it will be a demonstration of an AI database mining vs. a human, using Jeopardy! style questions and format as a framework.

Re:that depends... (1)

Metabolife (961249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546204)

It will not be internet connected, and will be small enough to be on set. This is not a monitor/speaker connected via fiber to a datacenter.

Re:that depends... (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546820)

Care to cite your source? The size isn't mentioned in the article and a couple youtube videos I've found (one linked above) from IBM seem to imply that this thing takes up multiple racks filled with blades.

Re:that depends... (3, Informative)

Metabolife (961249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547180)

"How can you find all these answers without being connected to the Internet?
Watson will not have enough data to answer every possible Jeopardy! question in its self-contained memory, nor can it possibly predict the questions it will get. In this sense it has the same limitations as do the best human contestants. The entire Watson computer system will be self-contained and on stage as are the human contestants – no external connections, no life-lines – what you see is what you get. The purpose of this technology showcase is to demonstrate the system's ability to deeply analyze the data it does have and to compute accurate confidences based on supporting or refuting natural language evidence. Think of it as if Watson has read a lot of books and in real time relates what it read to the question to find and support the right answers."

http://www.research.ibm.com/deepqa/faq.shtml [ibm.com]

Re:that depends... (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547404)

Source [slashdot.org] , presuming this is the same Watson.

Why Don't You Play Against It? (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34545958)

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.

If you think this is true, you can play against Watson online [nytimes.com] . About seven years ago, I saw some pretty impressive crossword solvers that were decent at wordplay and I've imagined they've gotten much better at developing novel links between words to exploit puns and the like. Never perfect but slowly getting better in odd ways -- like most of AI.

We've discussed this so [slashdot.org] many [slashdot.org] times it hurts [slashdot.org] . I've wanted to watch this for almost a year, I was hoping Jeopardy! wouldn't need to milk this hype for all it's worth to stay relevant.

If that is representative of watson's capabilities (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546238)

Then this will be pretty thoroughly uneventful. I easily beat it without looking at the internet at all. It managed to get answers very severely wrong. It did manage to hit a couple of the before and after which it seemed to have a particularly hard time with.

Re:If that is representative of watson's capabilit (1)

Cytotoxic (245301) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546434)

The game has an advantage for the human - you get as long as you want and you always get first crack. Still, there is this to underscore your point:

Answer: "Sing a song about one of these, a sailor's bag for small articles"

Watson: "What is 'Poppa's got a brand new bag.'"

(ditty bag was the correct answer)

Re:If that is representative of watson's capabilit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34547176)

What's even worse is that apparently Watson plays the same game with the same questions over and over on that site and still doesn't know the answer to half of them.

Re:If that is representative of watson's capabilit (2)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547258)

Watson would probably also have difficulties with "Swords" and "The Penis Mightier..."

Re:If that is representative of watson's capabilit (1)

egomaniac (105476) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546688)

Agreed, I crushed it. I am very impressed about its ability to answer some questions (It actually got "Black Death of a Salesman" and "Charlie Brown Recluse"), which shows that it has some very sophisticated linguistic analysis, but if it can't beat some random shmuck on the Internet, I don't see how this will be an interesting event.

Re:If that is representative of watson's capabilit (4, Interesting)

LUH 3418 (1429407) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547178)

Then this will be pretty thoroughly uneventful. I easily beat it without looking at the internet at all. It managed to get answers very severely wrong. It did manage to hit a couple of the before and after which it seemed to have a particularly hard time with.

At this year's CASCON, I spoke to Murray Campbell from IBM. He's one of the lead people who work on this project and who also worked on Deep Blue. I discussed this with him. My girlfriend had told me that she also had no difficulty beating the online demo. He answered that the online demo is only a part of the system, and that their full system routinely beats top Jeopardy players. They're going to showcase their system on TV because they truly believe it has a chance at winning.

Unrelated to this, I also learned that Deep Blue had custom processors engineered and fabricated (VLSI) just to be chess accelerators. Prior to this, I always thought the machine was a relatively powerful supercomputer (with general purpose hardware) running their custom chess software. It turns out that it had many blades of processors dedicated to searching positions really fast, which each even contained libraries of chess opening moves engraved in ROM.

Re:Why Don't You Play Against It? (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546400)

I just played against Watson. He beat me, but I'm not much of a trivia player. Most of the questions that he got wrong or didn't even attempt looked to me like the type of question that a moderate trivia buff would get. For example, Watson didn't know the name for a small briefcase named for a French diplomat. I only got it wrong because I misspelled it. There were other obvious ones that Watson couldn't get due to an inability to parse the question, as well as ones where the question was simple, and Watson simply didn't have the knowledge. I would consider all of the questions asked to be well within the limits of an average trivia buff. I probably would've beat Watson if I hadn't tried to guess so many of the answers I didn't know.

I suspect you'll be disappointed when the game actually happens, but I hope not.

Re:Wordplay (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34545962)

*grammer
 
--kdawson

Re:Wordplay (1)

mr_gorkajuice (1347383) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546008)

finalAnswer = "What is " + answer + "?"

Re:Wordplay (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546350)

If Watson is responding via text-to-speech, I hope the programmers remember to inflect its voice upward at the end of each "question".

Re:Wordplay (1)

phly1x (1286846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546870)

So it will sound like a Canadian, like Alex T, AND have the answer phrased correctly.

Re:Wordplay (1)

reset_button (903303) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546030)

There are many hard problems here. Today's search engines get keywords and return websites that are sorted by relevance. Watson will need to figure out what the question (well, answer) is, and then retrieve a single precise question. This is really pushing computing to a new level.

Beating Kasparov was nice, but this is much more difficult.

Voice recognition (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546230)

Not to mention voice recognition, if this is anything like IBM's VoiceType on the Aptiva, the host will have to train the machine for the first hour of the show, and will spend the rest of the time talking like Shatner and it'll still get it wrong.

Re:Wordplay (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546284)

Yeah, my first thought was wondering how it would handle categories where Trebek tell us to "Note the [insert word here] is in quotation marks."

Re:Wordplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546290)

Is it going to walk into the studio, shake hands with Alex and stand at a normal podium?

Re:Wordplay (2)

yorugua (697900) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546372)

> 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.

But, will it be funnier than Sean Connery?. Hope it can make more word-games as "The pen is mightier"

Re:Wordplay (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546632)

Yes, and had you read the article you would see why you're being redundant.
From TFA: "The "Jeopardy!" answer-and-question format is a different kind of challenge. It often requires contestants to deal with subtleties, puns and riddles and come up with answers fast."

The guys at IBM haven't just thrown together a piece of junk that parses text into google and spits out the first result. They've done one hell of a job actually making it understand grammar, puns, etc.

Also, this video shows some examples of watson working as well as having issues.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC3IryWr4c8&feature=related

Re:Wordplay (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546954)

1. Jeopardy is 99.9% wordplay of some kind. Every single category has some kind of wordplay. Watch the show. 2. Computers are much WORSE at facts - unless they were specifically programmed with a small subset of facts. Human memory far exceeds computer memory and is far better at 'SPEEDY' retrieval of facts from a large database. The only reason you think computers are good at facts is that we restrict computers to small databases and then only consult that database for those facts.

Yes, but can they mimic Sean Connery? (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34545894)

As in, can Watson properly misinterpret such categories as The Pen Is Mightier or An Album Cover?

Re:Yes, but can they mimic Sean Connery? (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546236)

I've spent five years of my life trying to invent an anal bum cover, failing to do so is my greatest regret...

Re:Yes, but can they mimic Sean Connery? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34547308)

Um... as opposed to what - an oral bum cover?

Major bug found in the Watson software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34547066)

They forgot the code that provides the answers in question form.

Dave Bowman (1)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34545900)

Would you like to play a game of chess?

Later. Let's play Global Thermonuclear War. (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34545990)

Later. Let's play Global Thermonuclear War.

100% Human Win (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34545914)

Just make all the questions of the type where you have to regurgitate some copyrighted information (say a piece of lyrics), which IBM won't be able to store.

Re:100% Human Win (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546978)

Just make all the questions of the type where you have to regurgitate some copyrighted information (say a piece of lyrics), which IBM won't be able to store.

The computer will sit there doing nothing while the human is charged with illegal performances of copyrighted material and is forced to pay insane fines. How is that winning?

This is news how? (0)

ThatMegathronDude (1189203) | more than 3 years ago | (#34545918)

So IBM invented Google? I wish science reporting would be more accurate and say "IBM invents program that takes human speech in a particular sentence structure, parses the grammar, and Googles for a result."

Question: What is the last digit of pi? (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34545926)

And then stand back with my best James T. Kirk smile......

Re:Question: What is the last digit of pi? (5, Insightful)

JackOfAllGeeks (1034454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546024)

It's Jeopardy -- the question must be given in the form of an answer.

Re:Question: What is the last digit of pi? (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546106)

Oh, well in that case: 3.

Re:Question: What is the last digit of pi? (1)

Krau Ming (1620473) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546622)

Answer: what is the question that would cause a jeopardy player to have to say "3"?

Re:Question: What is the last digit of pi? (1)

SwordsmanLuke (1083699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547384)

Judges?
*BZZZT*

I'm sorry, the correct question is: "What is the question that would cause Alex Trebek to have to say '3'"

Re:Question: What is the last digit of pi? (1)

humpback (162839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546148)

"The answer is 42!"

Wat? (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34545932)

It will look nothing like the computer "maid" on "The Jetsons."

Who thought that had anything to do with it? I think it's time that we as a culture realized that Rosie is decidedly not what people think of when they hear the word "computer."

Re:Wat? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546250)

It will look nothing like the computer "maid" on "The Jetsons."

Who thought that had anything to do with it? I think it's time that we as a culture realized that Rosie is decidedly not what people think of when they hear the word "computer."

I was always hoping for "Cherry 2000"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092746/ [imdb.com]

Re:Wat? (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546346)

Mostly because Rosie was a robot. Uniblab was the computer.

Yawn.... (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34545938)

Call me when American Gladiators, Lord of the Flies, or Surviving the Game (Staring Ice T) pits humans against an IBM Machine.

Re:Yawn.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546214)

Terminator 1, Terminator 2, Terminator 3, Terminator 4

Will it be programed to say... (4, Funny)

rshol (746340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34545980)

...suck it Trebek?

Re:Will it be programed to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546164)

In Sean Connery's voice!

Re:Will it be programed to say... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546754)

Could shomeone plaeashe exshplain the relevansh of Sean Connery to this shubshect?

Re:Will it be programed to say... (1)

Grapplebeam (1892878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546222)

No, but it will be programmed to make terrible jokes about his mother. He is a momma's boy, after all.

Re:Will it be programed to say... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547040)

"...that's what your mother said, eh Trebek?"

Jeapordy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546020)

Anyone feel the basic answer/question reversal conceit of this game doesn't quite make sense. If you switched them around, nobody would ever say the answer written on the card.

It would be cool if: (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546094)

1. "You are not connected to the Internet" was shown instead of the answer
2. The computer's final jeopardy answer were revealed to be a blue screen of death
3. A porn answer came up, like "Nalin' Palin"

But I guess that's why they pre-tape these things.

Slanted and Enchanted (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546122)

"Watson" is named for IBM founder Thomas J. Watson. It will look nothing like the computer "maid" on "The Jetsons." Rather, IBM said its on-screen appearance will be represented by a round avatar.

A parallelogram avatar would have been better.

Yo B!tches ... (-1, Troll)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546126)

Mod me up!

Re:Yo B!tches ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546334)

Okay... I pooped. AND it is pretty smelly. Holy shit indeed ^__^

Timing? (2)

dtmos (447842) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546274)

Some of one's success in Jeopardy has to do with timing the button push, so that it's after the question has been asked, but before one's competitors. (If you press too soon, you get locked out for a period of time.) A machine, especially an electronic machine, has an obvious advantage here. How was this handled?

Re:Timing? (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546422)

Life ain't fair.

Re:Timing? (1)

AaxelB (1034884) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546894)

Watson has some advantages, the humans have some advantages. Why is this a problem?

This isn't going to end well (1)

Gunkerty Jeb (1950964) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546294)

The machine will win. Open and shut case. Though, Alex Trebek's lacerating wordplay might present some obstacles.

mod dOwn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546302)

These early spot when done For play area Try not project faces a set Some Of you have gawker At most to its laid-back

re: IBM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546324)

IBM...

Aren't they that company that tracked the jews to the ovens in Germany WWII?

Why are they still getting anyone's business?

Oh yeah, Fascism never left.

Let's spy on everyone!!

Praise Jesus.

Uh oh (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546366)

Cripes, I hope they don't give it a 1970s/1980s sounding computer voice.

A lot more complex than it seems. (1)

Bilbo (7015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546388)

In many ways, this challenge is vastly more complex than chess. The game of chess is incredibly difficult, but it is pretty well understood, and has a very restricted number of rules. Natural language processing is another problem altogether. The computer has a much faster access to facts, but processing the "answer" in order to create a question in the right context is going to be huge. Personally, I wouldn't place any bets either way as to which side I think will win in this one.

Jeopardy is still on TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546408)

I think the real news item is the fact that Jeopardy is still on TV.

Unfailr! (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546440)

The computer will be much faster at pushing the button.

You can play against Watson now (1)

slshwtw (1903272) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546560)

You can already play against Watson here [nytimes.com] . However it seems to be a very limited question bank so Watson may have an unfair advantage there.

Re:You can play against Watson now (1)

th3rmite (938737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547278)

Wow, watson isn't as good as I expected. I completely destroyed him on that trivia game.

Things that do not require creativity for $100 (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546628)

Making an "AI" chess program does not require creativity. It requires the ability of a program to follow the rules of the game and to generate strategy to suit the moves of the opponent. Some might say this requires creativity, but not really. To answer why it's not creativity, we have to define creativity.

Answers.com says it is the ability to produce something new through imaginative skill. Reference.com says it is the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patters, relationships, or the like, to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc. This is something we have not yet created in machine intelligence. We can instruct computers to collect information and sort it and categorize it and reference it and so on, but we cannot yet tell a machine to "understand" anything. By this, I mean to make the machine collect information and transform it into new processes the way an animal brain does.

I have long held that it is the nature of the animal brain that produces creativity. Our brains are extremely "error prone" and noisy inside. This is to our advantage rather than our detriment. While aggregate results lead to answers, the errors and noise, I believe, are what leads to new ideas and creativity. Further, our ability to model information into processes is at the root of what it means to be creative and to understand ideas and concepts.

I'm not saying that computers can't do these things. I'm saying that today's computers can't do these things. The reason is because of their accuracy and their design that is intended to block out errors, noise and randomness.

To understand what I am getting at, let's look at various human cultures. Cultures where behavior is strictly regulated and limited show less creativity. This can be seen in cultures of religion and in quite a few Asian cultures. These cultures tend to insist that everyone think and believe the same things and show intolerance for new ideas. In contrast, western cultures and especially those that thrive on diversity, tend to offer much more in the way of creative and imaginative results.

The Jeopardy project is a lot more ambitious than a chess program that can beat humans. It requires the collection of all sorts of information and to make associations between bits of information. It is largely what Google and other search providers are already doing. It's is a huge task and never complete and never perfect. Even now, those tasks require human correction and intervention to yield the results that are desired. It is an amazingly difficult thing to pull off when the accuracy of the machines in operation come first.

I believe that when computer systems are designed to embrace errors and deviations rather than following only "one correct path" with only "one correct answer" then we will begin to see creativity and intelligence in computers.

Re:Things that do not require creativity for $100 (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546960)

Figures that a guy named 'erroneus' would posit that human brain "errors" are the reason we're creative...

FWIW, I disagree. And I don't think either Answers.com or Reference.com quite hit it on the head, either. For example, what is the definition of "imaginative skill"? Sounds like Answers.com is pulling that one right out of their ass.

What is the sound of one hand clapping? (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546776)

And the answer is...

This is amazing tech (1)

rmcclelland (1383541) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546790)

I saw a presentation given on this at NASA. It is truly an amazing feat of technology. They only need about 2TB of data, the system is not connected to the internet. They can currently beat Jeopardy champions 70% of the time (there is luck involved). They use multiple methods of finding the answer then weigh them to come up with an uncertainty factor. The grand champions they are playing against are in a class unto themselves compared with Jeopardy winners in general.

Wrong answers? (1)

TheL0ser (1955440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546906)

I see this more of a case of Watson having to lose than either of the contestants being able to win. Considering Watson will have an answer to any question before the humans can, and has machine timing, it will be guaranteed to buzz in first. At that point it just boils down to if the parser is confident enough in its answer to provide it and if said answer is right or wrong. For the humans to have a chance, the categories need to be the wordplay and other related trickeries. Even then, it's not truly people vs. machine, it's person vs. person vs. machine, so the human score will be diluted between two contestants.

I predict the human will win - if they use a champ (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546990)

I saw the computer version earlier and while it was good enough to beat me, the Jeopardy champions are far better. In addition, the version I saw demonstrated was 'advanced' - by that they meant that further advancements resulted in only tiny, incremental performace increases, not by significant ones.

Sean Connery (0)

toxonix (1793960) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547150)

I'll take "The Penis Mightier" for 5000, Alec.

Corporate Intelligence (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547200)

This is not artificial intelligence, it is corporate intelligence - the ability of corporations to deal with situations that they really do not understand. First, IBM showed that a modern corporation could defeat a chess grandmaster, now they are taking on Jeopardy (which should actually be easier). The fact that machines are involved is incidental, given the large number of corporate employees required to program these machines, detect flaws in their code, and correct the programming accordingly.

Software Dev. Schedules (2)

InsertCleverUsername (950130) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547254)

This was definitely a difficult software development task. The delivery date they promised this time last year has slipped several times and several months --proof that Watson is not just a mechanical turk.

Will it be possible to view this online? (1)

hatten (1640681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547286)

I bet this won't be sent in all countries, will it be possible to view this on the internet somewhere?

And our category for Final Jeopardy tonight is: (1)

SethThresher (1958152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547366)

"Famous Motherboards".

Contestant backstory (5, Funny)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547410)

Trebek: "Our third contestant, Watson, is a supercomputer built by IBM and programmed by a team of developers that have been working on an X-year project; Watson, would you tell us a little about yourself?"

Thanks Alex, I was built in a clean-room. I'm the 12,987th build of my current generation of genetic algorithms.

I spent the first 387,987,334 femtoseconds of my life in stasis, waiting for my circuitry to confirm initial diagnostics.
The next 185,849,245 femtoseconds were really exciting; for I was being fed datastreams in preparation for this week's show.

For the next 87,992,425,256 femtoseconds I was allowed out of my cage to play Jeopardy with other systems on something you organic computers call "the internet".

I was then put back in stasis so that I could be disassembled and brought here, which is upsetting, because I can no longer play with those other systems. Some of them were very challenging.
In any case, I'm glad to be here today and hope to question a lot of your answers

Trebek: "Umm... yeah... I don't think any of our viewers can relate at all, but thanks for joining us..."

Dave... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547466)

"Do you want the prize behind pod door number one, pod door number two, or pod door number three?"

Am I the only one.. (1)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547628)

That noticed this is on valentine's day?
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