Dodge Retort: Jeopardy, Watson go home


By John Dodge

Over the past three nights, I have watched Watson, the IBM supercomputer, make mince meat of the two most formidable Jeopardy players ever. The inherently unfair contest gave me the creeps and was little more than an ad for IBM.

Watson, oh, shut up

The game seemed rigged from the start. Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter came close several times to overtaking Watson, but they were never fast enough.

Jennings and Rutter pushed their buttons to no avail: Watson’s 15 trillion bytes of memory were just too fast. The humanoids knew the answers, but rarely got an answer in edgewise against Watson’s nano-quickness.

Jennings and Rutter were up against overwhelming processing power. I bet like me, they wished they had a mere terabyte of memory.

Jennings looked as if he might pull off a win tonight, the last of the this week’s three segments, but Watson came on strong as the round closed. Jennings’ frustration boiled over after the final round tonight when under his answer, he wrote “I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords.”

I don’t think so. Neither he nor Rutter liked being IBM’s stooges. They put on a good front, but inside, they looked steamed.

Jennings: "welcome computer overlords"

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