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Senior Contributor

For any Jeopardy fans or computer geeks

I have my DVR set up to record all the Jeopardy shows so I can watch them later that night.  Many times when I'm busy I don't get around to watching them and simply delete them but I have made sure to watch the shows so far this week.  Today is the last of three shows where an IBM super computer named Watson is one of the contestants going against the two most successful Jeopardy champions from the past including Ken Jennings who set a record when he won 74 games in a roll a couple of years ago.  IBM's computer is playing two games over three days against the past champions with the winner being whom ever wins the most money combined from the two games.   It took the first two days to play the first game as they spent a fair amount of time talking about "Watson" and IBM's effort to build it specifically to play Jeopardy similar to how they built "Deep Blue" several years ago specifically to play chess against a chess master.  Deep Blue did what many at the time thought was impossible by beating reigning world chess champ Gary Kasparov.



In the first Jeopary game Watson was tied for first after the first day half way through the game but went on to kick butt and was way ahead going into final Jeopardy but failed on the final question while the two humans got it right. Watson who choose to bet small in final Jeopardy is still way ahead after the first game.  Weird thing is Watson embarrassed itself on a couple of occasions.  On one question one of the humans beat Watson to the buzzer but gave the wrong answer.  Host Alex Trebek then asked Watson for its answer and it gave the exact same wrong reply as the human before it. 



Then in final Jeopardy the category was U.S. cities with the clue being, "This city’s largest airport is named for a World War II hero, and its second largest airport is named for a World War II battle."  The two past champions gave the correct answer, "Chicago" while Watson gave the answer "Toronto???"

2 Replies
bruce MN
Veteran Advisor

Re: For any Jeopardy fans or computer geeks

I haven't seen them but my wife saw one and was fascinated by it. I'm sure we'll be able to watch them on-line somewhere.


Love Jeopardy. Very humbling. Reminds me of "back in the day" in college when we would play along with the show for money. For a nickle a thousand or something like that.

Senior Contributor

Re: For any Jeopardy fans or computer geeks

I wish I was as smart as Canadian Alex Trebec so I could host the show.  I just read where he gets $10,000,000 a year for hosting the show.  Not to shabby.



The final show is today Bruce if you can catch it.  It is kind of neat as they show you Watson's three top choices for each answer and give a color coded percentage to show you how positive Watson feels about his answers.  Watson can not use the internet and goes on only the knowledge it already possesses.



I think Trebec needs to read the clues quicker as Watson is almost always the first to buzz in.  Watson can not hear so it must read the clues itself and gets them when Trebec first starts to read them.