Watson on Jeopardy: Night One Recap

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legacy2013

Just to clarify  a few points:
Watson actually has to push a button the same as the humans do to buzz in, he was calibrated to react the same time as a human can respond
The part of Watson that makes this so facsinating is not that he can find the answer, any computer with some code can look up stuff on google, but all the natural language processing is huge. Computers have always had a very hard time at understanding subetlies of the human language. Building a computer that can understand a idomatic expression or a double meaningis a huge accomplishment, no matter who did it. The human brain and a computer CPU work completely differently. Watsonm actually picks out the keywords in the sentence and finds hundreds of possiblities to what the answer could be, then, looking in at the noun and descriptive verbs, will eliminate possbilities to what the answer might be, he then get the top 5 results or so and ranks them to how right he thinks he is and based on what he is betting and the stakes sets a threshold to what percentage of confidence is needed to actually turn in a vote. There were times that watson had the correct answer and the right amount of percentage of confidence that he was right that he didnt still get the buzz in in time as well

 

 

So,this computer is a huge step forward in the Artifcial Intelligence community even if it isnt truly AI

 

I am also aware I refered to watson as a he, I am arare he is just a computer

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lunchbox73

Still waiting for Watson to become self aware and murder Trebek during the commercial break. Now that's good TV.

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chipmunkofdoom2

Why is this such a surprise to most people? This is a computer that has a ton of processing power behind it, a massive database of information with lightning fast access times, and a few cleverly written algorithms. All these things you can find in most business-class servers.. all IBM did was scale it up and write some new code.

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The bigTchaikovsky

I'm glad you explained that it wasn't connected to the internet, although that'd make more sense than guessing whether all of the answers that Alex is gonna ask was already programmed into the damn thing. And I guess this is a stepping stone but voice analysis and then comprehension would be more impressive in my opinion. Cleverbot does a fine job of comprehending text and I don't think it's as big.

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line_test

I believe IBM has like 4 years and about 10 Million dollars into the R&D of "Watson" at this point.....

 

 

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makin_time

When does Watson get the text clue sent to it? Is it as soon as Alex starts to read it or when he is finished? While the contestants can't click the button until Alex is finished, if Watson is sent the question as soon as Alex starts to read the question, then the computer has a distinct advantage. 

Secondly, the computer gets the 'answer' in text, already in a form the compter can easily comprehend. The humans have to read the question or listen to Alex reading it and then sort out the question in their brains. Since the computer can speak, why can't it listen or read what Alex says, the same way as the humans? If a foreign contestant comes on the show, he or she would still have to translate the answer before offering the question. Why doesn't Watson do the same thing? 

Lastly, the finger on the button makes a huge difference in the game. How does Watson signify that it has a question? I assume it's quite a bit more streamlined than the human contestant's finger/button combination. 

Picky, picky, picky but I don't think that it's a level playing field yet. 

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mesiah

I had some of the same questions. A computer can proccess a text document much faster than alex can read it. Although the contestants can read it on the screen faster than alex can speak it. Still, I would hope they factor that in with some sort of delay, although the argument could be that they shouldn't need to handicap the computer in order to be "fair" everyone reads at different speeds, watson just does it blindingly fast.

 

As for the button, they do show how that works. Watson really does have to push a button like everyone else. There is a servo clamped to the buzzer that all contestants use. When Watson is ready to answer the servo presses the button. Although it is probably capable of pushing the button more times in a given period than a human is. There may still be an advantage there.

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garrettp

I just wasted 20 mintues of my life :( But seriously, pretty dang cool to watch. I love technology (hence forth my love for MPC ;) and to see this stage of computing finally happen is awe inspiring.

With that said, I don't think we need to worry about comptuers taking over the world quite yet, not in my time anyway. Still the size of an entire room to be almost as smart as a human.... at playing Jeopardy ;)

Great article and thanks for the video. I would have never seen it if it wasn't for MPC. Please change this to my favorite for the case give away :D

Now how do I make a Watson for my gaming PC. Could you guys do an article on that please :)

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makius

HOLY CRAP IT'S SKYNET!!!

Where's Sarah Conner when you need her?

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highsidednb

It's just another ploy to boost IBM's share value.  See Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine.

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