As an avid Jeopardy! fan since I was in elementary school, I’m pretty excited about the announcement that we are building a computer system to challenge humans at the game of Jeopardy. While certainly entertaining in and of itself, this is more than just an entertainment stunt and it has serious implications on how we bring computing to a new level of understanding of the human environment. Who better to help explain than Alex Trebek himself:
Further, The New York Times has this description:
The team is aiming not at a true thinking machine but at a new class of software that can “understand” human questions and respond to them correctly. Such a program would have enormous economic implications.
Despite more than four decades of experimentation in artificial intelligence, scientists have made only modest progress until now toward building machines that can understand language and interact with humans.
More will certainly be written about this in the coming few days so keep your eyes open. In the meantime, I’m going to brush up on my Jeopardy! skills.