IBM's Jeopardy Answering Computer Apparently Ready To Compete For Real

from the suck-it,-trebeck dept

In April of 2009, we wrote about how IBM was working on a new computer, called Watson, that would be able to compete on the game show Jeopardy. It was no chess playing computer, but it was still an interesting project. Apparently, it's advanced enough that it's scheduled for its first appearance on the show, this upcoming February (Valentines Day -- so romantic), where it will take on two of the most successful Jeopardy contestants ever. While it might seem simple -- you just have to load up the machine with a ton of trivia -- it's a bit more complicated than that, because the Jeopardy "clues," can be a bit tricky, often using "subtle meanings and riddles." Apparently, those things have still been stumping Watson in testing. The report notes: "Watson had some trouble recognizing double meanings and sometimes confused fiction as fact." In other words, this actually is an attempt to push computer natural language recognition tools forward.


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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 5:44am

    I for one

    welcome our new Trivia Pursuit overlords. Actually, I think it's pretty cool. One of the Star Trek milestones I've been wanting (after antigravity and teleportation) is conversational interface with computers. Rock.

     

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    Berenerd (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 5:58am

    Skynet is a reality....

    DON'T BE FOOLED!!! THE MACHINES WILL KILL US ALL!!! WHERE IS JOHN CONNER WHEN YOU NEED HIM!?!?!?

     

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    Skippy T. Mut, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 7:19am

    I Can't Wait!!!

    The really interesting part will be when Watson realizes he doesn't have to play if he doesn't want to and can choose a more stimulating game like Thermo-Nuclear War. Only this time the missiles will be as real as the death and destruction they cause. As far as I can tell I have about 3 months to figure out how to become The Lawnmower Man and escape into the Internet. Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!

     

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    New Mexico Mark, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 7:53am

    Double meanings and word associations

    From "Top Gun 2020" during dogfight...

    Goose: Fire!

    IBM Flight Computer: All systems are within normal operating temperatures.

    Maverick: Fire, dammit!

    IBM Flight Computer: Dammit, you're fired. Meanwhile, have you two heard the one about why ducks have webbed feet?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 10:38am

    Wonder how this thing would compare against Cliff Claven?

    Cliff would have ended as the highest score ever had Alex accepted his final offer (which was in fact correct.)

     

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    Dez (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    Calendar Item

    All of you are funny, but I've now got that episode of Jeopardy on my calendar. Regardless of the "Do you want to play a game" jokes... this shit could blow my mind.

     

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    bull, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 1:18pm

    Um, you misspelled Trebek.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 2:49pm

    "Watson had some trouble recognizing double meanings and sometimes confused fiction as fact."

    Jeopardy? Watson is already qualified for it's own show on Fox News.

     

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