Skip to comments.Computer ties human as they square off on 'Jeopardy!'
Posted on 02/15/2011 7:52:19 PM PST by Kaslin
(CNN) -- The computers haven't proven to be our trivia overlords just yet.
Give them at least until Wednesday.
An IBM supercomputer named Watson finished one round of the TV show "Jeopardy!" on Monday night tied with one of his human competitors and $3,000 ahead of the other.
The man vs. computer face-off won't be complete, however, until the final rounds of the extended trivia game show are aired on Tuesday and Wednesday.
IBM trumpets Watson, which has been in development for years and has the processing power of 2,800 "powerful computers," as a major advancement in machines' efforts to understand human language. The computer receives clues through digital texts and then buzzes in against the two other "Jeopardy!" contestants like any other player would. It juggles dozens of lines of reasoning at once and tries to arrive at a smart answer
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
Let’s hit the streets to put Watson in the White House
I’m not impressed! It takes a room full of supercooled supercomputers to do the same as one person. Not very cost effective if you ask me.
I wasn’t impressed at all when in Final Jeopardy the category was “US Cities” and Watson’s answer was “Toronto.”
How well would Watson do in Peking? He'd have an army of his Levono children out there working on his behalf. True social networking.
Someone should ask Watson who the hell Obama really is.
there were several easy questions that the humans knew and I could see them trying to push the button but Watson answered first. I suppose watson answers at the speed of light while humans have to push a button that is far slower and puts them at a disadvantage.
Wait till the categorey is “Women” and the clue is something like “number of ways a guy can screw up”. That’s one of those divide by zero thingies that always blow computers to smithereens.
Yes, the obligatory Skynet reference...
Yes, it missed that question, but it won by more than $25,000 over each of its opponents. Watson is absolutely crushing the two best players ever. It is no contest so far.
Watson kicked the humans’ butts today.
It even got in some mild humor.
I am thinking SkyNet...
Knowing the answers to the questions is only half the battle. What is really important is pushing the button at the right time, which brings me to my question. Does Watson activate the button mechanically, like his human counterparts?
What is 6 times 9?
>>Does it have the rudimentary capability of understanding the spoken question or is the question inputted separately?<<
From what I understand, it understands the category as well as the question.
It is a quibble whether it reads the question or hears it from Trebek.
‘’there were several easy questions that the humans knew and I could see them trying to push the button but Watson answered first. I suppose watson answers at the speed of light while humans have to push a button that is far slower and puts them at a disadvantage.”
If you watched some of the background presentation on how Watson was prepared, it showed that the computer had been rigged with an electro-mechanical “plunger” that Watson had to push to “ring in”, just as his human competitors had to do.
The whole demonstration was very impressive.
One can only imagine the befuddlement of both competitors.
This is “John Henry” all over again — only this time, the steam drill is winnin’!
Yes. As they explained it last night... Watson pursues multiple lines of “reasoning” when working on a question. This generates multiple possibly answers that get refined and possibly re-enforced by further analysis. When Watson’s confidence in a particular answer exceeds a threshold value, it buzzes in. It uses a solenoid to activate a pushbutton switch tied to the regular Jeopardy gear.
Someone should ask Watson who the hell Obama really is.
Watson: “EVIL, EVIL, EVIL,........”.
They said the question gets sent to Watson as a text file at the same time it is revealed to the human players and read.
Watson does not hear nor parse the question - nor the answers of the other players. That happened last night. Watson buzzed in second. The human player gave the wrong answer. That answer was also Watson's, and it merely repeated the same wrong answer not having any way of getting the information that xyz was wrong. A human would've thought "Hmm, better go with my second guess..."
Ask Watson if Islam is a religion of peace.
That will fry his circuit board.
My understanding is that Watson mechanically operates a plunger-type of control, just like a human. The difference is that Watson receives a text file at the instant that the other contestants start to hear the question. Watson's comprehension of the question is undoubtedly much faster, so Watson is apt to "buzz in" first.
I knew the answer to all but three of the questions tonight. I suspect that Ken Jennings and the other fellow knew just about every question too. But Watson reacts faster than they can, so Watson controls the board.
"Hey Watson, your mother's a whore."
Answer: Yes. Oh, and by the way "peace" means, in this context, that the last infidel has been killed or converted. They simply seek peace. That isn't too much to ask, is it?
I was surprised at how uneven it was. It was not very “entertaining”. One would think they would have tried it a few times and seen how uneven it was. And then perhaps add in a delay to the computer of a tenth of a second or whatever to make it comparable to a human’s response of thought and then action to push the button.
Of course then you wouldn't be showing the full capability of the machine.
Off topic, thanks for your service to our republic in 2004. My son has learned from you. God bless you.
Not a quibble at all. Even a small child could easily understand the spoken question. If the computer cannot, it is obviously limited in its abilities even when compared to a child.
the humans have to wait until the exact moment when trebek finishes, and the computer can buzz in early?
It is who is first on the button. I knew most of the answers so you know the guys did - Watson just rang in faster. Needs to be some kind of built in delay on Watson’s ringing in ability.
Also, the final question category was “U.S Cities” and Watson’s answer was Toronto with several question marks after it - what’s with that? I would think Toronto should have been eliminated from Watson’s possibilities by virtue of the category alone.
on jeopardy, can the contestants read the question like we can at home, or do they have to listen to trebek?
Listening is different than reading and might activate different parts of the human brain?
If the humans have to listen to Trebek, so should the computer. there are speak to text programs.
>>Not a quibble at all. Even a small child could easily understand the spoken question. If the computer cannot, it is obviously limited in its abilities even when compared to a child.<<
You are conflating the ability to “hear” versus the ability to “read.”
All Jeopardy contestants get to read (via sight) the answers before they ring in. It is thus a quibble whether Watson reads the clue by text input as opposed to hearing Trebek speak it — Watson is on an even footing with the human contestants.
“there were several easy questions that the humans knew and I could see them trying to push the button but Watson answered first. I suppose watson answers at the speed of light while humans have to push a button that is far slower and puts them at a disadvantage.”
If they explained how that works, I missed it. Maybe it was rigged so that once the computer reaches its threshold for answering (50% certainty, whatever that means), it has to wait the average time it takes a human brain to order its thumb to click in.
How does a computer decide how much to wager in final jeopardy? I suppose it doesn’t matter if it has doubled the other players’ scores. But what if it wasn’t? How would a computer judge its knowledge of “U.S. Cities” if, presumably, if it knows everything it knows with equanimity? I mean, it can’t say to itself, “Well, I took that calculus course sophomore year, but I didn’t study very hard, so I better not swing for the fences.”
I watched it and I agree. Watson was faster on the button. But so was Ken Jennings when he had his big run too against other people.
But I was very impressed with the programming of that machine. It could make complex associations and do it very well.
What amazed me was how Watson was so totally wrong of the Final question. I would have thought that would have been an easy one, but then again, Watson never had the 'pleasure' of flying through Chicago. He only travels via cyber space. ;~))
Time to crank up, “I Lost On Jeopardy” by Weird Al! :)
“This is ‘John Henry’ all over again only this time, the steam drill is winnin!”
I suppose John Henry technically won, but at the end he was dead. The machine didn’t die, did it?
“But so was Ken Jennings when he had his big run too against other people”
I always figured Jennings’ secret was that he clicked in before he knew the answer. But that was his risk, and anyone could have taken it.
“It is a quibble whether it reads the question or hears it from Trebek.”
Understanding spoken speech requires far more processing. There can be difficulties in a machine understanding regional dialects, slang, and subtle differences in similar sounding words. For example, disambiguating heir, air, and err requires additional processing to determine which word best fits the context of the sentence.
So what’s the deal - does Watson have an internet connection and basically googles the answer in an intelligent way or does he have these facts programmed into him somehow? If it’s all internal, then that’s pretty impressive, because he would have to have an incredibly broad database of raw factual info do draw on.
The human contestants, while demonstrating certain memory functions, are also demonstrating higher levels of brain function including seeing and hearing. Watson is deaf and blind and is basically demonstrating data base search algorithms. Interesting, but primitive when it comes to brain function.
I'd agree, but as I recall, he didn't do it unless he thought he could retrieve that answer in time. I didn't see him miss too many. (The guy is really good)
As I get older and watch that show, it's 'I know I know" but the answer does not pop to my lips as quickly as it once did. Years ago, "I could have been a contender", but now, I know I know it, but I simply can't get the answer out as fast. Just like baseball... my reaction time is way down.
Blame it on the Budwiser. ;~))
It was all internal. Actually, the internet would have been far too slow for that contest.
“Understanding spoken speech requires far more processing...”
Be that as it may, I believe you’ll notice the human contestants also read the clues. In fact, while playing along at home I like to tune Alex out, for the sake of avoiding his pompous pronunciations, bad impressions and accents, and stupid jokes.
You’re not getting it.
He may be smart but he will never get a date . . . when they can fit watson into a container he size of a coconut, I’ll be impressed
In actuality the human contestants are squaring off against the team of coders who wrote the software. They are in no way competing against an intelligent machine of any sort.
A bright 12 year old could program the same powerful computer to play a mediocre game of checkers or a group of high-end coders can program it to play Jeopardy but the machine stays the same, it is the brilliance of the programmers that is on display.
Computers are tools, they are amplifiers that automate intelligence. They are the most important tools ever created by man.
“I always figured Jennings secret was that he clicked in before he knew the answer. But that was his risk, and anyone could have taken it.”
I wondered out loud if they can press the button before the entire answer is read. My son said no, not sure if he is correct or not. (Probably is!)
Just searched it on the net. My son was right - you are “locked out” on the buzzer until the entire question is asked.