16 Feb 2011
So IBM computer Watson beat Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings on Jeopardy today. Beat them pretty handily, too. Congratulations, IBM! This marks the second huge computer victory over mankind. The first was the N64's GoldenEye 007 game. Oops, I meant, the first was Deep Blue beating Garry Kasparov in a chess match. It was entertaining, for sure. Here, Carnegie Mellon folks describe some of the issues they faced building/programming/yada yada Watson.
To note, Ken Jennings borrowed from Kent Brockman, news reporter on The Simpsons, and added the following line to his final jeopardy answer: I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords. Hilarious, and Ken and Brad showed themselves true heroes of the human race.
But can we just move on? NEVER!!! The buzzers obviously favored Watson in this event. In my estimation, over 90% of the time when Watson knew the answer, he won the buzzer race. That dog just ain't gonna hunt. So until the buzzers are synced fairly, this just isn't a fair race.
So can we just move on? NEVER!!! I'm gonna take this opportunity to cry foul on Deep Blue's victory over Kasparov, too! Kasparov beat the computer fair and square in 1996. When IBM got a rematch in 1997, they won a six-game match 2 wins to 1 loss and 3 draws. I think we've all heard how between-game programming helped Deep Blue along, albeit legally. I should probably put this movie that looked into the conspiracy on my Netflix.
Conclusion? Conspiracies reign on. Yet I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords.