Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, two of Jeopardy's greatest winners of all-time, might consider unplugging their TV sets from September 12-14, 2011, the three days in which Jeopardy will broadcast an encore presentation of its first-ever man vs. machine competition featuring IBM's Watson supercomputer. If you happened to miss it the first time around -- or want to study Watson for signs of weakness just in case machines decide to rise against their makers -- clear your schedule or set your DVR.
It's been six months since the show originally aired, in which Watson put the AI-induced smackdown on Jennings and Rutter, the former holding the record for the longest winning streak on Jeopardy with 74 consecutive victories, and the latter setting the record for Jeopardy winnings with $3,470,102, plus a pair of Camaros and more cash via tournament wins.
"With the Jeopardy challenge, we accomplished what was thought to be impossible – building a computer system that operates in the near limitless, ambiguous and highly contextual realm of human language and knowledge," said Dr. David Ferrucci, IBM Fellow and scientist leading the IBM Research team that created Watson. "Watching the match again reminds us of the great power and potential behind Watson to be able to make sense of the massive amounts of data around us and to solve problems in new ways."
While robots and artificial intelligence programs cheered the victory, some humans were quick to point out Watson had an unfair advantage in pretty much being able to ring in quicker than his human opponents.