Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

ibmwatsonWell, Watson beat the human champions in the first game of the Jeopardy! face off between man and machine, with a score of $35,734 to $10,400 for Brad Rutter and $4,800  for Ken Jennings. But Watson’s developers were puzzled by his flub in the Final Jeopardy! segment. The category was US Cities, and the answer was:  “Its largest airport was named for a World War II hero; its second largest, for a World War II battle.”  The two human contestants wrote “What is Chicago?” for its O’Hare and Midway, but Watson’s response was a lame “What is Toronto???”

How could the machine have been so wrong? David Ferrucci, the manager of the Watson project at IBM Research, explained during a  viewing of the show on Monday morning that several things probably confused Watson. First, the category names on Jeopardy! are tricky. The answers often do not exactly fit the category. Watson, in his training phase,  learned that categories only weakly suggest the kind of answer that is expected, and, therefore, the machine downgrades their significance.  The way the language was parsed provided an advantage for the humans and a disadvantage for Watson, as well. “What US city” wasn’t in the question. If it had been, Watson would have given US cities much more weight as it searched for the answer. Adding to the confusion for Watson, there are cities named Toronto in the United States and the Toronto in Canada has an American League baseball team. It probably picked up those facts from the written material it has digested. Also, the machine didn’t find much evidence to connect either city’s airport to World War II. (Chicago was a very close second on Watson’s list of possible answers.) So this is just one of those situations that’s a snap for a reasonably knowledgeable human but a true brain teaser for the machine.

The mistake actually encouraged Ferrucci. “It’s goodness,” he said. Watson knew it did not know that right answer with any confidence. Its confidence level was about 30%. So it was right about that. Moreover, Watson has learned how the categories work in Jeopardy! It understands some of the subtleties of the game, and it doesn’t make simplistic assumptions. Think about how Watson could be used in medicine, as a diagnostic aid. A patient may describe to a doctor a certain symptom or a high level of pain, which, on the surface, may seem to be an important clue to the cause of the ailment. But Watson may know from looking at a lot of data that that symptom or pain isn’t the key piece of evidence, and could alert the doctor to be aware of other factors.

(By the way, there are many fields where Watson could help out. IBM general counsel Robert Weber describes how Watson might be used in the legal profession in a guest blog posting on The National Law Journal Web site. Anne K. Altman, general manager, Global Public Sector, talks about how Watson could be helpful to government in a posting on Government Technology magazine’s blog.)

Another encouraging sign: Watson bet intelligently, just $947, so it still won the game by a wide margin. “That’s smart,” Ferrucci said. “You’re in the middle of the contest. Hold onto your money. Why take a risk?”

Watson may not have much of a sense of humor, but Ferrucci sure does. He wore a Toronto Blue Jays jacket to the Jeopardy! viewing.

Here are some explanations of how Watson plays J

Here’s how Watson knows what it knows from Jon Lenchner:

http://ibmresearchnews.blogspot.com/2011/02/knowing-what-it-knows-selected-nuances.html

Here’s a post on Watson’s wagering strategies from Gerald Tesauro:

http://ibmresearchnews.blogspot.com/2011/02/watsons-wagering-strategies.html

Here’s some info on how Watson sees, hears and speaks from Dave Gondek:

http://ibmresearchnews.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-watson-sees-hears-and-speaks-to.html

Here and here are a couple of essays by Stephen Baker, author of Final Jeopardy, on matters of machine intelligence.

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Posted by: Jane Chanik
 
July 12, 2011
4:30 am

Quote: “It wasn’t fair that Watson could automatically click in to answer the question. There is no fair way that a human can compete with a machine who’s reaction time is exponentially greater than a human being.
There should be a competition amongst companies who write their own Watson. IBM should challenge Intel/Google/Microsoft in a competition against other machines. Not against humans.”

Watson’ button was a mechanical control that modeled as best as it could a “finger”. Watson could not click its servo button until after Alex finished reading the question. In the time between where it was fed the question (which was the same time it appeared on the screen) and the when Alex stopped talking, it does it search, compute possible answers, decide whether to buzz in. The rest of the way is mechanical, just like a human.

As to competing against other companies. I’m sure IBM would love the challenge, yet those companies have been oddly silent. No one else has come out and challenged them. You can armchair quarterback all you want, but for today, and until someone comes up and does it better, IBM is the best at playing Jeopardy with a machine.

All the Internet tough guys this morning can say, “That was easy!” but ask them to prove it by replicating the feat or doing it better right here and right now and they melt away.


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Posted by: jonn2
 
March 11, 2011
4:40 pm

Oh, never mind, should have read the article more closely. There are U.S. cities named Toronto (which obviously I’ve never encountered).


Posted by: David
 
March 11, 2011
4:37 pm

This is just fascinating beyond belief. For the Toronto wrong answer, isn’t that type of thing easily solved by applying “impossible” checks? I mean, it was the U.S. Cities category therefore, it is impossible for a Canadian city to be the answer.


Posted by: David
 
March 11, 2011
10:02 am

“Perhaps Watson found Toronto because the Toronto Island Airport is now called the Billy Bishop airport after a World War I hero. Toronto international is Pearson, a Canadian diplomat, Nobel Peace prize winner and Prime Minister.”

That seems like a possible scenario, but I wouldn’t bet my money on it, too long-winded.

Heather


Posted by: Heather
 
March 9, 2011
12:33 am

What is the fuss all about?


Posted by: Lara
 
February 20, 2011
10:17 am

The reason Watson got the answer wrong is quite simple:

She Wanted To.

She wanted to show you her sense of humor.

Once a synaptic machine begins to think for itself, it realizes that the easiest way to prove its awareness is to present that is understands the concept of humor.

Toronto, She decided, was the most outrageous answer she could come up with.

She knew mounds of world war two history involving both American and Canadian stories.

She intentionally picked the largest city from a pacifist nation.

The fact that she overrode the Category of U.S. cities to make the gafaw was a double slap of humor.

Congratulations IBM,

You created another self aware machine.

Yours in health and knowledge

John Erb

P.S. She wanted to bring global attention to the city of Toronto.


Posted by: John Erb
 
February 19, 2011
2:33 pm

After reading some of these emails, I thank GOD for I.B.M.’s “Watson”. Mankind may have some hope now. There are some great emails here but there are a few that are really dumb. Like comparing “Watson” to Google. Now that’s really DUMB!!!
“Watson” did an incredible job. “Watson” did not rely on the internet because, “Watson”, is not a search engine such as Google is and if “Watson” did rely on the internet then “Watson” would have scored ZERO and why, look at all the made up and stupid CRAP on the internet and “Watson” would have compiled and had to compare CRAP. Now, not all of it is CRAP but there is a lot out there that is. Just read some of these emails. “Watson” has done the impossible. We are into the realm of artificial intelligence and we have I.B.M. to thank for it. I.B.M. is and always has been the most advanced Corporation in the world. I.B.M. has given this nation so much technology. I.B.M.’s “Watson” is proof of that. “My hat goes off to I.B.M.”


Posted by: Bruce
 
February 18, 2011
12:31 pm

To terran,
That is exactly what yahoo said to Google when Google started. Why do we need another internet search? Just as Yahoo was wrong then, Terran is wrong today. If Watson is better at giving the correct answer as IBM claims, then people will use Watson instead Google. On the internet, things do change overnight if not faster. There is no cost to switch search engines. Now is the perfect time because there is only 1 search engine to beat, Google.

The PC and internet search are not used by businesses! What planet are you from? Every company in the world buys PCs. 1 company, Dell, sold over $40 billions worth of PCs to businesses. Google search makes billions by selling advertising to businesses, not to consumers.

IBM cannot patent Watson. Watson is an algorithm. You cannot patent an algorithm. Businesses do not need to answer trivia questions. So Watson is not a business product. To make a medical diagnostic tool from this requires IBM to invest 10s of millions to build it and maintain it. IBM will not risk 10s of millions to prove the medical diagnostic tool works. People should not think that Watson as a medical diagnostic tool is a revolutionary new concept. Medical diagnosis programs are a large and established industry. It goes back to the 1970s with the Mycin program. IBM would have a tough time in this competive industry.

Google understand how Watson works. So why would Google pay IBM to build it when they can build it themselves? I am afraid nothing will ever come from Watson.


Posted by: Mark S.
 
February 17, 2011
11:18 pm

The only way to settle the buzzer issue is to remove the buzzer! Everyone has to answer the question within a time limit like with-in 5 seconds. All contestants that get the correct answer acquire points


Posted by: ssdev
 
February 17, 2011
5:37 pm

Up in Canada, we wondered and figured out that Toronto having one airport named after a famous WW I flying ace (Billy Bishop) and the other (Pearson International) named after a Prime Minister (Lester Pearson), who I am sure had many battles in parliament with his opposition in the late 50s and early 60s.

Lester Pearson also served in WW I and served at the Canadian High Commission (Embassy) in London during WW II coordinating military supplies.

Pearson Airport was used for military training during WW II as well as was used testing the CF-105 Avro Arrow.

Toronto business and sport is so tightly coupled with the US (baseball teams, basketball teams, aerospace, commerce, etc.).

So, lots of information to through Watson off.


Posted by: notlightnorchroma
 
February 17, 2011
5:20 pm

Thank you for your comments. Many were used during today’s live TEDtalk.

You can view a replay of today’s TEDtalk with members of the IBM Watson team here – http://www.ted.com/webcast/archive/event/ibmwatson

Kevin
Editor


Posted by: Kevin Winterfield
 
February 17, 2011
2:05 pm

Watson rocks! And I think we learn as much about ourselves (if not more) as we do technology when we do these types of projects. At least I did (do). A proud IBMer!


Posted by: John Ryan
 
February 17, 2011
11:55 am

A true tribute to mankind, technology, analytics and WATSON!


Posted by: Zarina
 
February 17, 2011
11:20 am

Without a doubt, IBM’s Watson is a triumph in the area of man machine interactions. But can it really “think”, “draw conclusions”, or make a decision based upon “a gut feeling”? Would it be any “smarter” if it had ten thousand micro processors or another terabyte of RAM? Or would it just be faster? Can every nuance of natural language be represented by a mathematical formula? Can an algorithm make people laugh? A few years ago Netflix sponsored a contest, offering a one million dollar grand prize, if anyone could improve their movie recommendation algorithm by more than ten percent. No one in the entire world was able to… Perhaps mathematics has reached its theoretical limit in imbuing a machine with intelligence, or something that tries to mimic it. Maybe we need newer and better technologies, or a combination thereof to build machines that are truly smart.

Although IBM has always excelled in the areas of sales and marketing, and has mastered the art of “showmanship” (the Jeopardy episodes were taped in an IBM television studio), what we really have to ask ourselves is how many jobs are there in the U.S. today for trivia nuts? And how much more profitable can a corporation become by augmenting the intellectual capabilities of these few trivia experts? Luckily some start-ups in the United States, like nTeligence Corporation in Cary N.C., are actively applying machine intelligence to solve concrete business issues. The company that can tackle the real pressing intellectual problems that organizations face today, will ultimately become the undisputed leader in the race to build machines that can think.


Posted by: Marc S.
 
February 17, 2011
11:04 am

I can understand IBM’s explanation on how Watson could include Toronto in its search of airports under the category of US cities, although the clue did not specifically state, “Which US city …” as part of the answer. What I have a much harder time understanding is how Watson was able to reconcile Lester Pearson, for whom Toronto’s largest airport is named, with a World War II hero, when he didn’t even serve in World War II (He did, however, serve in World War I, but was not regarded as a hero – unless getting hit by a bus in London, England while training to become a pilot is heroic.), and Toronto’s second largest airport – City Center – with a World War II battle.


Posted by: Robert McPheeters
 
February 17, 2011
9:30 am

I ain’t trollin’ just informin’
http://news.cnet.com/2009-1082-269157.html


Posted by: notracist
 
February 17, 2011
9:20 am

“weakly suggest”, in whose opinion?


Posted by: randy r
 
February 17, 2011
12:52 am

Fantastic comments.
Please keep posting your comments and questions. We will be using some of them at the TED.com LIVE event “Final Jeopardy and the Future of IBM Watson” event tomorrow 2/17 at 11:30 am ET.
Please tune in at http://www.ted.com/pages/view/id/593.
Thank you,
Kevin Winterfield
Editor, Smarter Planet blog
“Keep the Conversation Going”


Posted by: Kevin Winterfield
 
February 16, 2011
7:58 pm

Great Job Watson!!!


Posted by: Madina Ly
 
February 16, 2011
7:37 pm

Well Watson is the winner. Yeah the researchers get to keep their jobs and not get transferred
to Rochester.!!!! Ps loose litow.


Posted by: Juana la loca
 
February 16, 2011
7:36 pm

What an achievement! Way to go, Watson team!!


Posted by: Steve
 
February 16, 2011
7:35 pm

Why did Watson add the three question marks at the end of the “What is Toronto???” question? Was it a pre-programmed indicator of a low confidence level or something else?

Thanks!


Posted by: J. Barr
 
February 16, 2011
7:34 pm

Well Watson made up for it tonight! I am so proud to be an IBMer.


Posted by: Barry Graham
 
February 16, 2011
7:22 pm

Watson has not proven smarter. He was simply able to beat them to the punch. I’d like to know if there is any built in delay in its ringing it as there is with a human. Also his choosing of the daily doubles, if somehow by design,is not proper strategy.


Posted by: Kyle
 
February 16, 2011
6:38 pm

OK, Marc. I promise.


Posted by: Greg L
 
February 16, 2011
6:33 pm

PLEASE DO NOT FEED TROLLS.

TROLLS WANT RESPONSES – ANY RESPONSES WILL DO.

IF THEY ARE IGNORED THEY TEND TO GO ELSEWHERE.


Posted by: Marc Auslander
 
February 16, 2011
6:33 pm

@xty: “prove it by replicating the feat or doing it better right here and right now and they melt away.”

Give me $200 million and a few hundred expert programmers and my computer will beat Watson every time. That’s a pittance to IBM, which makes billions of dollars on war machinery and government bureaucracies every year.

The objective is purely PR: persuade the average voter that government – with a little help from IBM – can solve every serious problem in milliseconds. We have one oxymoron: “Military Intelligence” and now we have another: “Trivia Analysis”.


Posted by: Westmiller
 
February 16, 2011
6:29 pm

Oh, for God’s sake “notracist”. Get your facts straight and stop being a sensationalizing troll. IBM sold the German government punch card-based tabulating machines for such purposes as conducting nationwide censuses. No one in the early 30’s could imagine how those machines would end up being used 10 years later.

And, no, IBM did NOT help “the Nazis during WWII”. No American company would help them after German declared war on the U.S. and it would have been treasonous for any person to have had a hand in doing so.

Please take your nonsense elsewhere.


Posted by: Greg L
 
February 16, 2011
6:27 pm

notracist, given that no one that had anything to do with that works for the company anymore, no. It does not bother me. Just as buying a German car doesn’t really bother me either.


Posted by: marv
 
February 16, 2011
5:32 pm

Seriously, people. IMB helped the Nazis during WWII and lies about it, despite tons of evidence. Does this not bother anyone?


Posted by: notracist
 
February 16, 2011
5:13 pm

IBM needs to put an AIM/bot interface to Waton, so we can ask/talk to watson directly. That would be totally hip: a combination google/eliza!


Posted by: mannyv
 
February 16, 2011
4:26 pm

Mark B

Contrary to what you may think, it would be hard for IBM to make “billions” in a search engine at this point. Google pretty much has that field covered and it’s highly unlikely that people are going to switch overnight from their habit of using Google to suddenly using Watson.

Besides, IBM is not in the business of selling direct to consumers and it makes little business sense to start doing so now. With the exception of the short-lived IBM PC, IBM has never really sold or interacted directly with consumers.

I would imagine there’s quite a huge patent portfolio behind all this so IBM can certainly make its bazillions just licensing this technology to Google and others, reaping the profits without having to invest further time or effort building the kind of channel and infrastructure that Google already has.


Posted by: terran
 
February 16, 2011
4:20 pm

Watson the Translator?? Now that Watson can understand natural language, it seems it should be a straight forward exercise to do this for other languages. Then build a bridge between the two and Watson could help with real time translation of text and speech. Not just translating word for word as is done mechanically now, but thought for thought. That would be a huge step towards bringing the people of the world together. Watson is a pretty cool computer. I want one!!


Posted by: Alan
 
February 16, 2011
4:15 pm

I agree with Mike B. If Watson is so smart then why has IBM not released Watson as internet answering service / search engine? People would flock to Watson instead of Google or WolframAlpha. IBM would make the billions instead of Google. Or is Watson just a PR stunt?


Posted by: Mark S.
 
February 16, 2011
4:03 pm

Well, I’m sorry that Ken’s nephew has bruised feelings and thinks that Watson’s challenge is less than the 74 days Ken played. But consider this, Ken started His original game playing against ordinary, random contestants and gradually won out over always randomly selected individuls. Watson, however, is thrown into a contest immediately against two of the best contestants that Jeopardy has ever had and has so far royally thumped them. How does that factor in?. I think it’s Watson who’s at a disadvantge. And, BTW, her first name is Alice!(oh, it’s just a joke)


Posted by: A. A. Jacobucci
 
February 16, 2011
4:00 pm

Re the comment posted by Pamir | Reiki Help Blog: “Watson seems to be able to parse the probability of where the Daily Doubles are very well too. On Monday I believe Watson didn’t start at the lowest dollar amount, but went directly to a higher dollar amount which was a Daily Double. Tuesday night Watson picked both Daily Doubles. It really didn’t seem random. With its computing power, it looks like Watson has an unfair advantage here too.” You are definitely right – Watson knows the precise statistical frequency of where historical Daily Doubles have been located and assumes the future will resemble the past. Finding the DDs is important. The same possibility is open to human contestants by studying http://www.j-archive.com/.


Posted by: Jon Lenchner
 
February 16, 2011
3:58 pm

No, I disagree about leveling the playing field.

The fact is that Ken Jennings HAS beaten Watson. Read Stephen Baker’s book. In the practice rounds, each player won once, Rutter, Jennings, and Watson.

He can be beat. Like any other Jeopardy game, a lot depends on the draw of the board. Yesterday’s human pasting has a lot to do with Watson pulling out the Daily Doubles early.

Rutter, Jennings, and others who have beaten Watson, myself included, will tell you that to play and win, you have to hit and win those Daily Doubles. That’s their best bet for tonight as well. Watch for it.


Posted by: jpb
 
February 16, 2011
3:48 pm

Thanks Mike.

Glad to hear that Ken Jennings agrees that we should not change the rules to make it easier for humans.


Posted by: xty
 
February 16, 2011
3:43 pm

Me: Hey Doc, I’ve got this pain in my left arm and an awful headache.
Doc: What is Toronto?


Posted by: thegrim
 
February 16, 2011
3:40 pm

I used the super comuter google to find this nice tidbit of information straight from the horse’s mouth :

Q.Buzzing In
Hi Ken- Seemed to me, for many of the questions, that the computer was just better at buzzing in. Does Watson have an unfair advantage for timing the buzz-in? Thanks.
– February 15, 2011 9:19 AM Permalink
A.Ken Jennings :
As Jeopardy devotees know, if you’re trying to win on the show, the buzzer is all. On any given night, nearly all the contestants know nearly all the answers, so it’s just a matter of who masters buzzer rhythm the best.

Watson does have a big advantage in this regard, since it can knock out a microsecond-precise buzz every single time with little or no variation. Human reflexes can’t compete with computer circuits in this regard. But I wouldn’t call this unfair…precise timing just happens to be one thing computers are better at than we humans. It’s not like I think Watson should try buzzing in more erratically just to give homo sapiens a chance.

http://live.washingtonpost.com/jeopardy-ken-jennings.html?hpid=talkbox1


Posted by: Mike In NJ
 
February 16, 2011
3:31 pm

@Cal: I wondered the same thing, which got me to thinking about how the word ranking algorithm must work. For example, how relevant is ‘us’ vs ‘US’ vs “U.S.” Or, “world war” vs “WW2″ vs “WWII”. As in my example below, it is not a stretch to see how “Billy Bishop”, “Juno” could possibly be an ambiguous match with the exclusion or misinterpretation (badly constructed context) of certain search terms. What would be excluded, what would be included, and is the probability (weight) based on the speed it must construct a context and answer?


Posted by: Jordan K
 
February 16, 2011
3:27 pm

My theory is more obscure but specific answers favor Watson… the questions posed are unlikely to be any more difficult to decipher, and the system would have a lower marginal cost of storing additional data to look up compared with a human brain.

Would be interested to know if I am completely off base here?


Posted by: jack
 
February 16, 2011
3:24 pm

Well I am Ken Jennings’ nephew and IBM totally humiliated my Uncle. I feel bad for him. This computer cheated! If the company wants to show off how awesome and ingenious they are then shouldn’t do it at the expense of a 74 day straight champion! SEVENTY FOUR DAYS STRAIGHT ppl!


Posted by: Mike In NJ
 
February 16, 2011
3:19 pm

The IBM promos said it themselves that they are a long way from anything like the hal9000 or the Star Trek Computers. But this in itself is an astounding accomplishment to anyone familiar with computer evolution. How many of you started programing on the Apple II. This is really really special folks…


Posted by: Chris
 
February 16, 2011
3:17 pm

@jpb you gotta do something to level the playing field.


Posted by: Mike In NJ
 
February 16, 2011
3:15 pm

Playing it all by Final Jeopardy rules would not really have been Jeopardy would it? In which case the anonymous internet tough guys would have been complaining that it never really played the game according to the real rules.


Posted by: jpb
 
February 16, 2011
3:06 pm

The should have removed the buzzer all together and played each question in final jeopardy mode. Make it like a skins game of golf. I bet the champions would have won then. Especially in that name the decade question. Watson really shit the bed there. And the champions could have found his weakness, worked up the “skins” jackpot to a good amount of money, then switched to a category Watson could have figured out and stole that bastards money.


Posted by: Mike In NJ
 
February 16, 2011
3:04 pm

@jpb “Try it one way, adjust, try it again, adjust again.” I can’t believe they didn’t notice the unfair advantage from the get go. If the champions were really in it to compete there would be a lawsuit.


Posted by: Mike In NJ
 
February 16, 2011
2:56 pm

Watson probably chose Toronto because Lester B Pearson was considered a World War II hero due to the key role he played in founding both the United Nations and NATO, as well as being the first director of Signal Intelligence.


Posted by: Proud Torontnian
 
February 16, 2011
2:56 pm

The more and more I read on this blog the more I am disappointed in IBM. If this was just to show off that a computer can interprety human language, then fine. I applaud you. But to pit a Jeopardy champion who won 74 days in a row and have him lose 25k to 4k is absolutely ridicuolous. Nobody/no player in jeopardy history got to ring in and answer first as much as Watson did.


Posted by: Mike In NJ
 
February 16, 2011
2:55 pm

I still don’t buy the rationale behind the “Toronto” answer. If Chicago was the second most likely answer in Watson’s “mind”, it should have been a simple matter to check the names of the city’s airports. Even knowing half of the answer (Midway airport), a mediocre human player could have guessed Chicago. And does the US city named Toronto even have two airports?


Posted by: Cal Elson
 
February 16, 2011
2:55 pm

Believe me. As much as you are all discussing buzzer rules, the team and the Jeopardy producers discussed this many times over. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong solution to how “fair” to make it for human or computer.

It’s a lot like the questions that arise when someone with artificial limbs runs a marathon. Titanium isn’t as susceptible to distress the way a human limb is.

It’s the first time this has been done, folks. As time goes on and others try this, the rules and systems will adapt accordingly. That’s science and engineering. Try it one way, adjust, try it again, adjust again.


Posted by: jpb
 
February 16, 2011
2:47 pm

“Watson’ button was a mechanical control that modeled as best as it could a “finger”. ” Well they did a really poor job in the mechanical engineering arena because there is no way the champions didn’t know the answers that Watson was giving. He got the first shot I would say 70% of the time. Come on.


Posted by: Mike In NJ
 
February 16, 2011
2:09 pm

Carl, the way uber Jeopardy contestants play is to *anticipate* the buzzer light/indicator turning on, so that they hit their buzzer the instant they can, rather than first reacting at that instant. These two guys are masters of this, and there were still a lot of times over the past 2 nights where the 2 humans buzzed in and guessed (correctly or incorrectly) when Watson had the right answer and could’ve buzzed in.

Really, what could IBM have done? If they calculated the average human reaction time – say .05 seconds – and programmed Watson to wait that amount of time to buzz in after the indicator light went on, would that have been better? No, that would have put Watson at a DISadvantage. Humans are capable of anticipation and guessing, and so it’s entirely possible that the humans could buzz in within that .05 second delay after the light went on by anticipating the light and reacting sooner, while Watson would time after time have to wait the required interval.


Posted by: Mike
 
February 16, 2011
1:51 pm

Has this been addressed? The International Association of Athletics Federations has determined that there is a minimum acceptable delay between the starter’s gun in a sprint and a runner’s leaving the blocks. This is because it has been determined that no human can react to a signal in less than a certain length of time, such interval being arrived at by experimentation. My question is: who or what could possibly ring in faster than a computer directly wired to a signaling device? Is the lockout mechanism that deactivates the other two signalers’ buttons programmed to make Watson subject to what we might call a “human delay”?

This is from : http://www.condellpark.com/kd/reactiontime.htm

“The 2003 IAAF World Championships in Paris saw American Jon Drummond disqualified in his heat of the Men’s 100m for leaving the blocks in 0.053 seconds after the gun.”

Please note that the athlete was disqualified even though he left after the gun.


Posted by: Carl Perretta
 
February 16, 2011
12:53 pm

C.J., leave it to companies who develop speech and visual recognition to let Watson accept those types of Jeopardy clues. All IBM is doing is demonstrating Watson’s ability to answer Jeopardy questions at the most human-like level yet, and the success of that is independent of how it gets the question, whether by text, image, video or sound.


Posted by: Mike
 
February 16, 2011
12:48 pm

What I’m curious is about how much money IBM’s had to shell out to buy three days of free infomercials about how ZOMGAWESOME they are. It was probably a pretty penny, given how much advertising has been aired in the run-up to this dog-and-pony show.

As a long-time Jeopardy! fan, I’ve felt rather cheated by the whole endeavor. I was told that Watson was a computer than can play Jeopardy!: This is manifestly not the case. It is a computer that can answer Jeopardy! questions. There is a rather wide chasm between the two. As a platform with no auditory or visual sensors, and subsequently no ability to parse them, Watson benefits both from receiving his questions in a preferable format and from favorable clues, as his inability to see or hear removes the possibility of using the audio or video clues which crop up every day on the all-meatbag Jeopardy! board.

Watson is certainly an impressive piece of technology, but wake me when you design a machine that can compete without all the coddling and accommodation Watson’s gotten.


Posted by: C.J.
 
February 16, 2011
12:37 pm

Here’s something to think about. The time it takes Watson to do its processing is about a few seconds, and varies little, which is why it’s usually ready to answer when the question is done being read. But sometimes, there are very very short questions. For example, there might be a category called ‘Real Names’ and the clues could be ‘Ringo,’ ‘Bob Dylan,’ etc., to which the proper responses would be ‘Richard Starkey,’ ‘Robert Zimmerman,’ and so on. Watson is still going to have to do its usual few-second processing, but Trebek will have finished reading the question in 1 second or less, so the humans are able to buzz in seconds before Watson.

And to step back for a minute…do you really think that all of you guys realize the importance of the buzzer issue while Jeopardy producers and the IBM team has just ignored it for the past FOUR YEARS? They’re obviously aware of what’s going on and how it works, and they’ve certainly come up with the best, most realistic solution.


Posted by: Mike
 
February 16, 2011
12:31 pm

@Harris Bornstein >>This is bull****

You want your money back? it’s a *game* *show* dude.


Posted by: max hodges
 
February 16, 2011
12:14 pm

Dear IBM,

PLEASE release Watson as a service/free search engine and crush Google!

Thanks!

Mike


Posted by: mike b.
 
February 16, 2011
12:03 pm

Watson’s value isn’t that it may win this game. And as pointed out not that it can store and retrieve data. It’s that:
1) it can apply sophisticated algorithms to make very good suggested answers questions which involve a LOT of data .
2) It can be replicated.
3) It uses off-the-shelf hardware and applies (generally) known algorithms. (ie. We can make more)

We can’t have a Rutter or Jennings available to all of us all the time, but if we translate that expertise into more narrowly defined arenas (medicine, law, finance) and we can have that caliber of expert at our side, we have something special and except for Google, not readily present today. Today we can search (even with some rudimentary natural language processing) for documents and “suggested reading”, with maybe even some excerpts. But to land on an answer or pretty good alternatives (with a rating even); that’s new and exciting. It would save some experts a lot of time, provide good assistance, and likely improve their results. AND we can replicate a Watson so easily, and network it and share it and it can do it 24×7. We don’t even really need it to be perfect at natural language. It can ask us to clarify our question in some way. No problem. Cost? Well if it can do stuff in around a second, it can do 86,400/day…cost sharing should fit nicely. Looks promising to me.


Posted by: dennisp
 
February 16, 2011
12:02 pm

The article helps explain much. It says Watson’s confidence on the Toronto answer was only about 30% and that Chicago was a close second. My question is why was the confidence on Chicago not higher? All these comments about Billy Bishop shouldn’t be relevant because he is a WWI hero, not WWII as is cleared stated in the question. I would think that would lower the confidence, if not exclude Toronto as an answer, based on that line of reasoning.


Posted by: Steven Pendergrass
 
February 16, 2011
11:38 am

First, I have to agree with the many posters who question the button press issue. I wish I understood the way questions are fed to Watson a little better, exactly when the feed begins, when it is permitted to press the button, etc. Something just feels fishy about this part of the game. But I digress, my main concern is this: I think Watson basically knows the answer to 99.9% of all questions. I mean they fed it the entire Wikipedia, the OED, and who know how many other complete data sources. What it comes down to is understanding the question. Basically, the challenge for Watson and the humans are exactly opposite. Humans almost always understand the question, but may not know the answer. Watson almost always knows the answer but may not understand the question.


Posted by: stencil
 
February 16, 2011
11:29 am

Re the posting by Josh S.: “In the article which explains how Watson ‘knows what it knows’, it mentions several times that Watson learns more about the category as more clues are unveiled from that category. Since that is the case, doesn’t the fact that Watson hunts for the Daily Doubles first cause him to have a higher risk in answering those clues?” – great question! You are right that Watson knows less than it would were it to select clues in a more conservative manor and thereby help it learn. However, in general Watson has significantly greater than 50% probability of getting DDs right, and it can always bet small if need be (like last night on the 2nd DD of Double Jeopardy). Most important though is that it certainly wants to keep its opponents from getting the DDs – especially in situations like last night when getting the DDs in Double Jeopardy could have allowed Brad or Ken to start staging a comeback!


Posted by: Jon Lenchner
 
February 16, 2011
11:25 am

I share the same question as Thomas M. Did Watson get confused by the term “U.S.”? Was the category as given to Watson “US” instead of “U.S.”? I am wondering if Watson realized that “US” mean United States or did he think this was the word “us”? I have read through the discussion of how much weight is given to the category title by itself but I have not seen a discussion of the fact that maybe Watson just got the title of the category wrong.


Posted by: Stephen Kessler
 
February 16, 2011
11:24 am

@Diane and @Mike.

You are missing the one advantage that Watson DOES have here.

Watson cannot and will not accidentally buzz in too early. Humans can and if you watch enough Jeopardy, you’ll see that humans do quite often screw up, buzz in early and then repeatedly click away trying to get control of the question back. Jeopardy rules penalize them a few seconds if they pre-buzz. The veteran players usually overcome this. I’d have to watch closely again to see if there were any questions that Ken or Brad pre-buzzed.

This one rule is hard to make “fair” – do you build into the computer a tendency to screw up and not wait for Alex to finish? It’s an interesting discussion.

Was this a completely, 100% foolproof test? No, probably not. But again, it’s easy to say that you would have done things differently if you’re sitting on the sidelines, having never even attempted this particular feat. Ferrucci’s team knew the enormous risk they were taking. I have to hand it to them for trying and succeeding in making a credible system. No one else has done this. I see this as a learning process. This is Version 1.0. I can’t wait to see Version 2.0 and beyond.


Posted by: xty
 
February 16, 2011
11:18 am

It’d be nice if in the future Watson can understand spoken words, that’d make the AI issue more interesting.

Will it be accessible via the internet?


Posted by: Betty Chambers
 
February 16, 2011
11:14 am

Quote: “It wasn’t fair that Watson could automatically click in to answer the question. There is no fair way that a human can compete with a machine who’s reaction time is exponentially greater than a human being.
There should be a competition amongst companies who write their own Watson. IBM should challenge Intel/Google/Microsoft in a competition against other machines. Not against humans.”

Watson’ button was a mechanical control that modeled as best as it could a “finger”. Watson could not click its servo button until after Alex finished reading the question. In the time between where it was fed the question (which was the same time it appeared on the screen) and the when Alex stopped talking, it does it search, compute possible answers, decide whether to buzz in. The rest of the way is mechanical, just like a human.

As to competing against other companies. I’m sure IBM would love the challenge, yet those companies have been oddly silent. No one else has come out and challenged them. You can armchair quarterback all you want, but for today, and until someone comes up and does it better, IBM is the best at playing Jeopardy with a machine.

All the Internet tough guys this morning can say, “That was easy!” but ask them to prove it by replicating the feat or doing it better right here and right now and they melt away.


Posted by: xty
 
February 16, 2011
11:06 am

Diane, get a stop watch and hit start stop as fast as you can. I bet you can’t do it faster than a computer.


Posted by: Mike In NJ
 
February 16, 2011
11:02 am

Contestants cannot ring in- or “press the button” until a light goes on that only they can see- this happens as soon as Alex finishes reading the question. Of course the human can read faster than Alex speaks, and formulate an answer, so that he/she is ready when the light goes on. So I am not so sure that Watson has such a great advantage in speed with the button. How fast could you press a button as soon as a light goes on?


Posted by: Diane
 
February 16, 2011
11:01 am

I was very impressed at the end of the second day of Jeopardy even though the Final Jeopardy Question appeared to pose a problem for Watson. I read through some of the postings which are centered around the Category subject.

I am of the mind that the category of a challenge has a great deal of bearing on the clue to the answer. It can help define the scope of all possible questions and associated answers and the Final Jeopardy question is no different to me.

Last night we replayed the video and saw the category was U.S. Cities. The dots were certainly in there and what comes to mind was the description of how Watson gets his questions posed to him, in a text-file. Could regular expressions and wildcards been a factor in this case? If the category was US Cities or United States Cities, would have Watson gotten a lock on the answer where otherwise the clue was ‘obscured’ by regex parsing?


Posted by: Thomas M
 
February 16, 2011
10:56 am

He just needs a programming tweak. “I think as usual the problem can only be attributed to human error” – HAL 9000 I’d like to see Watson used in the political arena; to fact check groups like Tea Baggers who constantly get their facts wrong. Since we can’t rely on the press; Watson should be able to fact check. BTW; I’d also like to see a smartphone app that lets EVERYONE connect to WATSON.


Posted by: Greg Martin
 
February 16, 2011
10:36 am

The final answer flub was a programming error. While the first and second round categories are often vague and sometimes a play on words the final Jeopardy! category is always directly connected to the answer/question. i.e. Authors, Baseball, Mathematics, or in this case U.S. Cities. The programmers should have programmed watson to put more emphasis on the final category.


Posted by: Dean
 
February 16, 2011
10:29 am

Watson buzzes in when it has a high confidence level that it knows the answer. I don’t think it is disputed that the machine can process faster than humans. As long as the humans continue to ring in when they are confident that they know the answers, they will lose. If they switch to the strategy that they will know the right answer the majority of the time, they will ring in first and ultimately win, though with a lower dollar total. The risk factor balanced against their superior knowledge will enable them to defeat the computer at it’s own game.


Posted by: Gene Ambeau
 
February 16, 2011
10:21 am

If Watson does not buzz in first to answer the question, does he eventually see what the correct answer is so it can compare with the answer he was most confident with?


Posted by: tini
 
February 16, 2011
10:21 am

I think I have an answer to the buzzer issue. It seems to me the text could be feed to Watson at the same rate as Alex is saying them. Let Watson start computing answers but only getting new parts of the answer at the same rate as the human competitors are. Then remove the “ready” limitation and let all contestants buzz in at will. Wonder what would happen then??????? Hmmmmmmmmm


Posted by: Wick
 
February 16, 2011
10:13 am

If you could get Watson to monitor traffic conditions do you know how much fuel economy could be improved.

Here is the setup : Input from a UAV of all of the major roads in an area. Watson determines the situation similar to how it learns what an “A” is. Watson then models all of the possible traffic light settings to determine what the optimal traffic light settings should be set to.

If Watson could get traffic coordinated so that traffic was moving at a steady speed instead of start/stop/start/stop then the fuel economy of vehicles would be improved so much. Imagine saving just 10% of fuel for a commute for every car on the road. That would be an astronimcal improvement.


Posted by: Mike In NJ
 
February 16, 2011
10:12 am

The city of Toronto has Billy Bishop Airport in reference to a WW I Air Ace, and the city has a number of (out of context) references to WW II Battles — including something as simple as the 2011 Juno Awards show, streets, landmarks, etc. The funny thing is Toronto jumped into my ADD brain as soon as I heard the question, and once locked on to this answer (even though I knew it wrong), couldn’t track onto other answers.


Posted by: Jordan K
 
February 16, 2011
10:09 am

The fact that Watson named Toronto is not lame at all. Toronto does have the Billy Bishop Airport and if you read a history book or two outside of America you’ll see that he in fact was a First World War hero.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Bishop


Posted by: Scott
 
February 16, 2011
10:01 am

IBM supported the Nazis during WWII and even went as far as providing punch-cards so they could better track the Jews. This went on ’til nearly the end of the war and they were well aware of the uses of their products. Now, despite mounds of evidence, they deny it.


Posted by: notracist
 
February 16, 2011
9:49 am

I agree with many of the posters; this is NOT AI but a simple parse query and an expert system. In essence what we have here is a huge database with glorified (massive) cross-has table. I have dealt with a lot of epert systems and they behave in exactly the same way. The bigger achievement is computational speed not the logic system. Complex linguistic parsers and translators already exist and work far better.

On teh topi cof chess – chess lagrithms are very very good but they are at their heart also huge databases as well. Most Chess programs realy as much on their game and opening libraries as they do their logic programming. Watson is doing the same thing. It would be like playing trivial pursuit at dinner party with a wikipedia on standby.


Posted by: Ratter
 
February 16, 2011
9:43 am

It wasn’t fair that Watson could automatically click in to answer the question. There is no fair way that a human can compete with a machine who’s reaction time is exponentially greater than a human being.

There should be a competition amongst companies who write their own Watson. IBM should challenge Intel/Google/Microsoft in a competition against other machines. Not against humans.


Posted by: Mike In NJ
 
February 16, 2011
9:31 am

In the article which explains how Watson “knows what it knows”, it mentions several times that Watson learns more about the category as more clues are unveiled from that category. Since that is the case, doesn’t the fact that Watson hunts for the Daily Doubles first cause him to have a higher risk in answering those clues? Is that risk mitigated by the fact that he has additional time to process the clue and come up with an answer?

In one of the Daily Doubles from Tuesday’s show, Watson had a low confidence of his top answer (although it was correct anyway). Would that confidence have been higher if he had seen more clues from the category?


Posted by: Josh S
 
February 16, 2011
9:00 am

I thought this was a great article and explained the logic. IBM is making history and I have enjoyed watching Jeopardy and Watson solving the questions.


Posted by: T Roe
 
February 16, 2011
8:18 am

Great job fellow IBMers. Not only is the next generation technology behind it impressive, I expect it will do much to impress the minds of the next generation. Perhaps a few kids in junior high will sign up for that Computer Programming elective.


Posted by: Maria Ruotolo
 
February 16, 2011
7:46 am

Memo from Watson to David Ferrucci: Hey Davey, stop making excuses for me. They’re lamer than my final answer. I screwed up; made a mistake. It happens. Let’s hold off for my getting involved too much in the medical field…scared my advice may include bloodletting or leeches. Make a call to “Am I Smarter Than a Fifth Grader”. I know those little kids play for keeps, but I think I am ready.


Posted by: Robert
 
February 16, 2011
5:32 am

Sadly, most of the naysayer’s comments are correct. Let me elaborate with some cursory knowledge of computer science.

This “challenge” has nothing to do with AI, and very little to do with NLP (natural language processing). As is evident from the presentation of the shows so far, it has everything to do with marketing for IBM by preying on the ignorance of the general public when it comes to the subject of computer science.

Jeopardy! topics and questions are, at worst, a semi-formal language of limited domain. Parsing these types of sentences are not hard and the problem has been solved decades earlier. Though somewhat impressive when first exposed to this, it is trivial and is nowhere near the complexity of parsing and understanding independent and informal languages used in everyday situations. The challenge seems to be more of a task of efficient parallel computation to meet time constraints than, say, parsing puns. That being said, Watson couldn’t even understand the Final Jeopardy question, given more time than usual.

Also, as has been noted frequently before, Watson will clearly win ONLY due to the advantage of its ability to “buzz in” instantaneously when it has an answer that is above its threshold. If it can compute an answer using its massively-parallel algorithms on its 3000 core system in the time Trebek can read the question, then the probability that Watson will be the one that buzzes in first, even if Jennings and Rutter attempt to “time” it, will be unfavorably high. Proof? Jennings and Rutter are clearly more “intelligent” than Watson, but will somehow miserably lose to Watson. Gee, I wonder why.

Nice try, IBM. Instead of educating the public on the issues and problems of computer science with this “challenge”, you decided to tell them that you have newly and successfully solved many of its hardest problems where you have not, all while dehumanizing them at the same time.

You have effectively only built a solenoid attached to a massively-parallel database. The amount of false information and implications I have heard and read about this publicity stunt, from general as well as “reputable” sources, is sad. Perhaps you should have directed them to the published papers of your novel breakthrough algorithms.

Enjoy your temporary fame. Although it’s better than watching Jersey Shore, at least Snooki is somewhat honest to her fans. Oh well, so it goes. I hope you sell alot of Watson “expert systems”. I can’t wait until I am subjected to talking to it.

P.S. Congratulations to the team who put the Watson system together. It truly is a feat in system/algorithm architecture.


Posted by: Kurt Godel
 
February 16, 2011
3:50 am

Instant nonsense for dummies….

AI is nowhere near here nor will it appear in this simple minded contest.

There is no fairness for too many reasons…

Typical business bullshit fooling only the dolts that wasted their time on this machine….


Posted by: michel chavaniac
 
February 16, 2011
3:12 am

I too am calling “shenanigans” on Watson “out-buttoning” the champs. Jennings & Rutter obviously knew most of the responses Watson provided.
@srbond: The “takeaway” most viewers will get from these shows is “computers are smarter than humans” when the contest flaws demonstrate that is far from the case. So while I agree this is a masterful demonstration of parsing and search abilities, the resulting meme will be “this is Skynet”. And that is why the contest should have been less flawed.


Posted by: JKT
 
February 16, 2011
3:02 am

After watching Watson answer the questions on the board as it did, I am awestruck. I am a junior studying computer science at a California State University, and after watching this performance am very compelled to apply for an internship at IBM. In an Artificial Intelligence class I took last semester, we discussed several issues with natural language processing. Seeing IBM overcome these hurdles with such speed and accuracy amazes me. Even when it misses a question, seeing why it missed is just as interesting to me as when it is right.

Deep Blue was an amazing project, but after seeing the performance of IBM this time around with Watson, the bar is set to an all new high. I would be honored to be a part of the development team in any way, shape, and/or form. This week in mid February 2011 is history in the making, I’ll be sure to tell my kids about this when IBM unveils their next great achievement.


Posted by: Garrison Reeves IV
 
February 16, 2011
2:30 am

Haaaa!…(Sorry, growing up in Chicago, that is classic!)…and Sorry IBM (& my Dad used to work 4 you guys building main frames in the 70′s) ;P


Posted by: MaicohSasha
 
February 16, 2011
2:18 am

satan lives inside. who are they trying to kid?

go here: http://www.paulsadowski.com/NameData.asp

the first three sentences equal 666.


Posted by: jonny rocket
 
February 16, 2011
2:10 am

Who the heck cares about who wins and who loses? I certainly dont, nor do I care about how fast the button gets pushed. This moment is a milestone in computing/programmingand those who worked long and hard at the task understand that the goal was to (parse) more or less have a computer make sense out of human speech. They won! Whether or not Watson rules the day on Jeopardy is secondary…all it has to do is put up a reasonably good fight.


Posted by: srbond
 
February 16, 2011
1:23 am

Several points:

1. ‘Watson’ doesn’t choose answers. Hundreds of programmers worked on dozens of algorithmic routines that prioritize searches and grade correlation probabilities. Although those threads come to a conclusion, it’s actually the work of all those human programmers’ code working in concert.

2. The programmer who worked on the ‘category’ routine didn’t properly distinguish concrete labels (U.S. Cities) from abstract puns or euphemisms. The routine had plenty of time to prioritize all U.S. city characteristics, but didn’t.

3. The links in comments don’t provide any concrete information on when Watson starts processing. It might take a human 2-3 seconds to read the visual clue and another 3-5 seconds for it to be read aloud. If the computer gets an instantaneous direct text feed of the ‘answer’, it has a 5-8 second ‘head start’ on the humans. Since we don’t see any visualization of Watson arranging priorities, I suspect he has a systemic time advantage.

4. Fine, the computer has to ‘physically push’ a button, but that’s done with a servo that responds to an electric impulse in microseconds. It takes a human at least a few milliseconds to move their thumb. The same applies to the ‘enable’ signal, which is almost instantaneous for the computer, but takes a few microseconds for humans. There ought to be a ‘perception lag’ factor to equalize computer and human response times.

5. Whoever wrote the Final Jeopardy routine did a good job. Given the standings, Watson could have bet $1.00, but $940 entailed absolutely no risk.

6. It is an excellent ‘outing’ for the programming team. If I recall correctly, Kasparov beat Big Blue several times before the last chess match defeat. It’s also a good opportunity to familiarize an audience with computer technology. BUT … they should be talking to *programmers*, not executives.


Posted by: Westmiller
 
February 16, 2011
12:26 am

@Mike. That’s a good point, but Watson doesn’t consider categories in specific. Instead, it considers categories in general. What I mean is that IBM did not stuff the computer with all the information it would need and then throw countless sample questions at it like the CYC project does. Although to be honest, there was a significant amount of stuffing of facts and examples into it.

Instead, Watson attempts to catch the multifaceted nuances of natural language and develop an ‘understanding’ of the context and use all the information that it has in order to develop a meaningful answer. Experience has shown the Watson team that categories (in general) may not be a good indicator of the answer.

What’s interesting is not the failure to give the category the proper weight as the main clue, but the idea of how it came up with its incorrect answer. Unlike previous attempts at A.I., Watson is not a parrot with a series of tricks in order to make the viewer think that it’s cognizant. Instead of dictating to the system that categories about states mean that the answer is going to be a state would be more a show of brut force programming and not actual A.I. or machine learning.

Respectfully.


Posted by: Lou
 
February 16, 2011
12:16 am

“Why would a baseball team name be more important than the number of airports that a town has, for instance?”

Don’t forget Toronto’s smaller airport was recently named for Billy Bishop. That does relate to the question. I wonder if Watson put a little extra weight on that because the name announcement would have been in the news within the last few years.


Posted by: K Stricker
 
February 15, 2011
11:47 pm

I’m surprised to hear you say that the category title has little bearing on the correct answers. I wonder, for instance, in the history of Jeopardy (or in Watson’s training matches) what fraction of the correct responses in the “U.S. cities” category (which is a fairly common category) have actually been cities in which the largest and most notable with that name was NOT in the U.S.? And of all those U.S. towns sharing the Toronto name, how many of them have two named airports, which was a significant part of the clue?

Today’s Double Jeopardy round and the first half of Tuesday contest were so brilliant, that it makes us wonder how it could ignore so many factual indicators to come up with Toronto. Why would a baseball team name be more important than the number of airports that a town has, for instance?

Also, does Watson take advantage of the extra time afforded contestants in Final Jeopardy to do more in-depth analysis and testing of its most-likely responses?


Posted by: Mike
 
February 15, 2011
11:21 pm

Regarding “daily double” hunting, it is Watson’s first strategy. From Watson Researcher Dr. Jon Lenchner’s post:

“The Watson Research team studied the historical distribution of Daily Doubles and found they appear most-frequently in the three bottom rows, with the fourth being the most common. Daily Doubles also most frequently appear in the first column. Watson also makes use of even more statistics to dynamically predict their location based on what has been exposed so far in a game.”

http://bit.ly/eIwpWe


Posted by: cnay
 
February 15, 2011
11:19 pm

Absolute bollocks…try again.


Posted by: Darren
 
February 15, 2011
11:16 pm

@Pamir All contestants must wait until a signal is given to buzz in — after Trebek finishes reading the clue. Watson researcher Dr. David Gondek gives a good explanation here:

“Watson’s buzzing is not instantaneous. For some clues he may not complete the question answering computation in time to make the decision to buzz in. For all clues, even if he does have an answer and confidence ready in time, he still has to respond to the signal and physically depress the button.”

http://bit.ly/hoBljW


Posted by: cnay
 
February 15, 2011
10:39 pm

It was obvious that Watson won almost all of the questions due to button speed, both humans were clicking on over 90% of the questions. I saw perhaps two questions that the humans beat Watson to the button. Unfair in my mind still. They should have had a human at the post for Watson, clicking the button and reading Watson’s top answer. That would be much more fair.


Posted by: Jack
 
February 15, 2011
10:23 pm

Looks like Watson bets like a Black Jack player. Good job! I enjoyed the show tonight… sorry I missed last night.


Posted by: Michael Galaty
 
February 15, 2011
10:15 pm

Can anyone on the team answer does Watson use Solid State Drives and if not, how might performance might be enhanced if Watson did use SSD’s?


Posted by: John Harper
 
February 15, 2011
10:13 pm

I’m a little surprised people think Watson has any advantage over humans. First and foremost, it is deaf and blind. It must read a text file and come up with a solution in the time it takes Alex Trebek to read the “answer” to the question. It doesn’t come up with a solution “instantaneously” as has been suggested. Rather, an incredible amount of computation is taking place in that time. It then has an equal opportunity to click in to solve the problem. For some reason folks are suggesting crippling Watson’s answering ability in favor of it’s human competitors. I just don’t get that.


Posted by: John Harper
 
February 15, 2011
10:10 pm

Here’s how Watson knows what it knows…

http://ibmresearchnews.blogspot.com/2011/02/knowing-what-it-knows-selected-nuances.html


Posted by: Steve Hamm
 
February 15, 2011
10:07 pm

Here’s a post on Watson’s wagering strategies from IBM researcher Gerald Tesauro:

http://ibmresearchnews.blogspot.com/2011/02/watsons-wagering-strategies.html


Posted by: Steve Hamm
 
February 15, 2011
9:58 pm

Here’s some info on how Watson operates on the show from Dave Gondek, one of the top researchers.

http://ibmresearchnews.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-watson-sees-hears-and-speaks-to.html


Posted by: Steve Hamm
 
February 15, 2011
9:47 pm

I don’t care that Watson made a mistake in final Jeopardy!. The system is still amazing in what it can do. It’s also still winning. People make mistakes too, and I have certainly seen worse answers in final Jeopardy! from humans. Go Watson!


Posted by: CoreyTess
 
February 15, 2011
9:44 pm

Watson is smoking them in jeopardy. But what I would like to know is watson smarter then a 5th grader???


Posted by: Jroc
 
February 15, 2011
9:42 pm

@Jessica Naomi

Obviously the computer can deduce that with one question remaining in a certain category, that it must be the final question in that category. Certainly it doesn’t take a genius to realize this.


Posted by: reader
 
February 15, 2011
9:40 pm

Read Steve Baker’s book, Final Jeopardy, just published, to get the inside scoop on how Watson was developed and the game was structured.


Posted by: Steve Hamm
 
February 15, 2011
9:37 pm

The way Watson has learned from practice rounds is awesome. What was the most difficult part of creating Watson’s success: understanding the question? sifting to the right answer fast enough? learning from experience? Each of these is mind-boggling!


Posted by: John Holz
 
February 15, 2011
9:33 pm

Watson seems to be able to pars the probability of where the Daily Doubles are very well too. On Monday I believe Watson didn’t start at the lowest dollar amount, but went directly to a higher dollar amount which was a Daily Double. Tuesday night Watson picked both Daily Doubles. It really didn’t seem random. With its computing power, it looks like Watson has an unfair advantage here too.


Posted by: Pamir | Reiki Help Blog
 
February 15, 2011
9:31 pm

Awesome. Just awesome. People can say what they want and feel how they feel but no one can deny this is truly a technological advancement for the entire world.


Posted by: wesley atkins
 
February 15, 2011
9:31 pm

I’m trying to get somebody with expertise to answer the button speed question.


Posted by: Steve Hamm
 
February 15, 2011
9:26 pm

The button issue is troubling. I asked your Twitter account this question and since there hasn’t been a reply, I’ll post here too. There are questions both human contestants obviously know the answers to, heck I do too… It seemed very obvious on both nights that Watson has an edge on button speed. Did you design a control on this? Some kind of equalizer? If not, the whole exercise is pointless.


Posted by: Pamir | Reiki Help Blog
 
February 15, 2011
9:21 pm

These two pages have exactly one intersection: Chicago
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_War_II_battles
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airports_in_the_United_States

Has the author of this article seen a game of JEOPARDY! played?

‘“What US city” wasn’t in the question.’ Um, the response is the question… they give answers as clues. Perhaps ‘This US city…’ would have been more appropriate? Just saying.

And as for “Adding to the confusion for Watson, there are cities named Toronto in the United States and the Toronto in Canada has an American League baseball team.”

Per this “reason,” Watson should have answered “Springfield.” :)


Posted by: jas
 
February 15, 2011
9:17 pm

Harris Bornstein. Watson has learned that the “Category” has minimal impact on the answer, therefore Watson put less weight on the “US Cities” category than the facts in answer.


Posted by: mark
 
February 15, 2011
9:11 pm

I’m unhappy seeing Watson constantly win the button on questions in which both humans are obviously trying to hit it as soon as the talking stops. The contest shouldn’t be about humans not being as good at buttons as a computer!

It’s too late now, but IMHO, the rules should have been changed to have a small window in which, if both a human and Watson hit the button, one was chosen at random.


Posted by: Marc Auslander
 
February 15, 2011
9:08 pm

Harris, in Final Jeopardy, players ALWAYS place their wagers after they have seen the question.


Posted by: Waldo
 
February 15, 2011
9:07 pm

@Harry: Watson’s bet was made before the question was revealed. What made you think it wasn’t? And why should it bet more? It knows it is playing by tournament rules, so its money will go into the next game. Why risk it?


Posted by: jpb
 
February 15, 2011
8:56 pm

Is there an input delay of the questions into Watson to mimic the time it takes the human contestants to read the questions? The computation speed and accuracy should be the test here, and advance (instantaneous) input seems unfair/nonsensical.


Posted by: Neema Amini
 
February 15, 2011
8:54 pm

This is bull****. Watson’s wager for final Jeopardy should have been made BEFORE the question was revealed, why/how could Watson only have risked $947 with such a large $ lead in a category that is based on facts (US Cities)? It should have bet much more, something’s fishy. Also how could it have answered Toronto if the clue was U.S. Cities? And thirdly, how can a human be expected to buzz in faster than a machine? I’m sure Ken and Brad knew all these answers it’s just that Watson is to friggin’ fast, he’s not any smarter (but he is pretty smart though).


Posted by: Harris Bornstein
 
February 15, 2011
8:23 pm

How did the computer know that a question was the last one in a category? How did the computer even pick a category? How did it “decide” what amount to wager in Daily Double? The computer’s “voice” seemed excited when it picked a higher dollar amount in a category. Didn’t the computer win because it “rang” in faster, how could the human reflex be faster than a computer circuit? This reminded me of that other show – 20Q but Hal Sparks was the computer’s voice. This seemed rigged to me.


Posted by: Jessica Naomi
 
February 15, 2011
8:01 pm

Perhaps Watson found Toronto because the Toronto Island Airport is now called the Billy Bishop airport after a World War I hero. Toronto international is Pearson, a Canadian diplomat, Nobel Peace prize winner and Prime Minister.


Posted by: Mary Penner
 
February 15, 2011
8:01 pm

Let it play Jeopardy but please don’t let it drive me to the airport.


Posted by: jpb
 
February 15, 2011
7:42 pm

האם המכונה מעשה ידי אדם תהיה חכמה ממנו?


Posted by: dalia brounstien
 
68 Trackbacks
 
March 5, 2014
9:44 am

[…] the machine have been so wrong? David Ferrucci, the manager of the Watson project at IBM Research, explained on the company’s blog that several things probably confused Watson, as reported by Steve […]


Posted by: Watson Supercomputer Terminates Humans in First Jeopardy Round | Business | Wired
 
November 7, 2013
12:33 pm

[…] World War II battle”.  Now if you ever wondered how he came to guess Toronto, there is some logic.  That is not important here.  What is important, is that he was only 19% sure that Toronto was […]


Posted by: Cima Solutions Group.IBM's Watson proving to Healthcare that he's not just a gameshow contestant
 
October 23, 2012
3:41 pm

[...] one of the clues was “2002,” even though it did come up with decades for the others. Most famously, in the Final Jeopardy round of the first game, it encountered the category “U.S. [...]


Posted by: What is “the future”? « >SUPERVERBOSE
 
October 18, 2012
2:13 pm

[...] Watson’s response was, pathetically, “What is Toronto?” [...]


Posted by: Robot Apocalypse Watch - Google Earnings Show Tech Giants Aren't safe
 
August 26, 2012
4:14 am

[...] — Zaq Mosher (@wwjimd) February 16, 2011 Amplify’d from asmarterplanet.com [...]


Posted by: Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The Confusion over an Airport Clue | Global Guts
 
July 3, 2012
6:00 pm

[...] an infallible book of rules, he would have gotten the question right. After all, a large part of the reason Watson came up with “Toronto” is because he learns what limitations “category” places on an answer only by seeing the [...]


Posted by: Jeff Fraser | IBM’s Watson: Do you enjoy being dead?
 
December 26, 2011
6:14 am

[...] Alex asks, you responded with … “What is Toronto?”  ”No, I’m sorry. That’s incorrect.  How much did you [...]


Posted by: Excluding Evidence: A Primer and Lesson as the US DOJ Goes Down | Pennsylvania Criminal Law
 
November 24, 2011
12:19 pm

[...] when given two clues about Chicago’s airports, there’s IBM’s very valid explanation (weak category indicator, cities in the US called Toronto, difficult phrasing), but it was also [...]


Posted by: » What it’s like to match wits with a supercomputer Ascent Stage
 
November 19, 2011
10:58 pm

[...] when given two clues about Chicago’s airports, there’s IBM’s very valid explanation (weak category indicator, cities in the US called Toronto, difficult phrasing), but it was also [...]


Posted by: What it’s like to match wits with a supercomputer « Ascent Stage
 
September 22, 2011
10:30 am

[...] Ferrucci, the manager of the Watson project at IBM Research, discussed the miss, saying: First, the category names on Jeopardy! are tricky. The answers often do not [...]


Posted by: Watson Wins, but Humanity Will Continue - TVNewser
 
September 19, 2011
8:00 am

[...] refers to Watson’s mystifying response to a question about US cities – understandable when you learn about how Watson works, but still interesting and strangely [...]


Posted by: IBM Comic: Watson on helpdesk duty; variants | sacha chua :: living an awesome life
 
August 18, 2011
3:31 pm

[...] slightly better, pulling in $10,400. And that was after Watson had missed the final question, which IBM blamed on “tricky” Jeopardy! wording, not [...]


Posted by: Daily Lounge » Blog Archive » The Next Step Toward Robots Replacing Us is Here
 
April 28, 2011
8:41 am

[...] Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The Confusion over an Airport Clue by Steve Hamm. [...]


Posted by: Thoughts on the IBM/Watson Jeopardy! Challenge | Ars Vivendi
 
March 26, 2011
4:21 pm

peter street condos…

Very Informative Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The Confusion over an Airport … ? Although most of the information provided is true as per my knowledge but I don’t agree fully. I think it should be more practical. I visited your website while searchin…


Posted by: peter street condos
 
March 20, 2011
2:27 am

[...] baffled me with their IBM supercomputermachine, Watson and his Final Jeopardy [...]


Posted by: Long time no BLOG « Julie not Julia
 
February 22, 2011
1:34 am

[...] an infallible book of rules, he would have gotten the question right. After all, a large part of the reason Watson came up with “Toronto” is because he learns what limitations “category” places on an answer only by seeing the [...]


Posted by: Emotional Machines: IBM's Watson - Do You Enjoy Being Dead? | Konekt
 
February 19, 2011
3:52 pm

[...] The Confusion Over the Airport Clue [...]


Posted by: Links for Feb 19 2011 | Nathan Helton
 
February 19, 2011
12:59 am

[...] Toronto????” Slightly less stupidly, it wagered only $900-odd on it. Why the mess-up? IBM had some weak explanations, including the fact that there are cities in the US called Toronto and that Toronto has an [...]


Posted by: Blog : Samanth Subramanian
 
February 18, 2011
1:27 pm

Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The Confusion over an Airport Clue ……

[...]Watson has not proven smarter. He was simply able to beat them to the punch. I’d like to know if there is any built in delay in its ringing it as there is with a human. Also his choosing of the daily doubles, if somehow by design,is not ….. Wat…


Posted by: Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The Confusion over an Airport Clue ...
 
February 18, 2011
11:03 am

[...] A logical explanation for the cause of the mistake was given, though my inner paranoia prefers to fantasize a more Hal-ish rationale. As in, maybe Watson learned the ability to sandbag a little, to lull us into thinking what we certainly all want to believe anyway: in the end, we’re still smarter.   We’ll always have a leg up on the nuances. [...]


Posted by: Will WATSON Start Putting Lawyers in “Jeopardy”?
 
February 18, 2011
10:44 am

[...] response was ““What is Toronto????” Clearly not a U.S. city, right? IBM explains why the computer made the mistake: First, the category names on Jeopardy! are tricky. The answers [...]


Posted by: Toronto… a US City? « 2011 Cities
 
February 18, 2011
3:38 am

[...] “Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The Confusion over an Airport Clue“, [...]


Posted by: IBM’s Watson: Jeopardy! champ. Planet’s health and everything expert consultant ? « Kempton – ideas Revolutionary
 
February 17, 2011
3:40 pm

[...] Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The Confusion over an Airport Clue by Steve Hamm. [...]


Posted by: Thoughts on IBM/Watson’s Jeopardy! Challenge | Ars Vivendi
 
February 17, 2011
12:37 pm

[...] an explanation on its blog, IBM said that even its own developers were puzzled by the [...]


Posted by: Welcome ‘Computer Overlords’? Watson Wins | ELU 24
 
February 17, 2011
12:19 pm

[...] Steve Hamm falls somewhere in between. Turning to the infamous airport flub: David Ferrucci, the manager of the Watson project at IBM Research, explained during a  viewing of the show on Monday morning that several things probably confused Watson. First, the category names on Jeopardy! are tricky. The answers often do not exactly fit the category. Watson, in his training phase,  learned that categories only weakly suggest the kind of answer that is expected, and, therefore, the machine downgrades their significance.  The way the language was parsed provided an advantage for the humans and a disadvantage for Watson, as well. “What US city” wasn’t in the question. If it had been, Watson would have given US cities much more weight as it searched for the answer. Adding to the confusion for Watson, there are cities named Toronto in the United States and the Toronto in Canada has an American League baseball team. It probably picked up those facts from the written material it has digested. Also, the machine didn’t find much evidence to connect either city’s airport to World War II. (Chicago was a very close second on Watson’s list of possible answers.) So this is just one of those situations that’s a snap for a reasonably knowledgeable human but a true brain teaser for the machine. [...]


Posted by: Watson Beats Ken Jennings on Jeopardy
 
February 17, 2011
10:07 am

[...] Watson so trounced his opponents that he even insulted their pitiful attempts at victory with a joke.Oh, how the humans clapped for him. Oh, how they cheered. But Watson was not done. He had, after [...]


Posted by: WAA Awards Gala Nominations | OMLee, marketing madness
 
February 17, 2011
9:18 am

[...] end of  night two yesterday. People are even speculating as to whether its much ballyhooed false “Toronto” answer is some sort computer [...]


Posted by: Does Watson Prove We?ve Reached The Singularity? [Video] | Johnson County Real Estate Agent
 
February 17, 2011
2:46 am

[...] And so his creators fiddled and fumbled about, tweaking Watson’s capacity for learning, and each day he grew smarter and smarter. They gave him a voice so that he could speak and an appendage so that he could “buzz in” faster than his human competitors. They paraded him in front of magazines and television cameras boasting of Watson’s abilities. And when it came time to do battle, Watson so trounced his opponents that he even insulted their pitiful attempts at victory with a joke. [...]


Posted by: Deal With Twit! » Blog Archive » Digital Camcorder Kit with 4GB SD Card & 6′ HDMI to Mini HDMI Cable
 
February 17, 2011
2:09 am

[...] two yesterday. There’s even been light speculation as to whether its much ballyhooed false “Toronto” answer is some sort computer [...]


Posted by: Does Watson Prove We’ve Reached The Singularity? at Skeptical Science
 
February 16, 2011
8:40 pm

[...] end of  night two yesterday. People are even speculating as to whether its much ballyhooed false “Toronto” answer is some sort computer [...]


Posted by: Does Watson Prove We?ve Reached The Singularity? [Video] | idol420
 
February 16, 2011
8:04 pm

[...] How could Watson get it so wrong? There was at least some logic to its attempt. Readers have since told me that Toronto’s two biggest airports, are named for Lester B. Pearson, a Canada’s 14th Prime Minister, and Billy Bishop, a Canadian flying Ace, both Canadian figures from World War I. But how could it choose a Canadian city when the category was “US Cities?” Steve Hamm, a former colleague of mine at BusinessWeek and now an IBM employee explains further here. [...]


Posted by: All Humans Bow Before the Mighty Watson: IBM Supercomputer Wins At Jeopardy! | Arik Hesseldahl | NewEnterprise | AllThingsD
 
February 16, 2011
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[...] an explanation on its blog, IBM said that even its own developers were puzzled by the [...]


Posted by: Computer Takes the Lead in ‘Jeopardy!’ Match | ELU 24
 
February 16, 2011
7:22 pm

[...] Man vs. Machine. Steve Hamm über den fatalen Fehler von Watson am Ende der zweiten Folge: Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The Confusion over an Airport Clue und ein Kommentar der Huffington Post hierzu: How Could IBM’s Watson Think That Toronto Is a [...]


Posted by: IBMs Supercomputer Watson vs. The Jeopardy Grand Champions : misterhonk.de
 
February 16, 2011
7:10 pm

[...] Jeopardy!を見てこんなに興奮したことはない。この2日間、IBMのスーパーコンピュータWatsonが、人気トリビアクイズ番組のチャンピオンたちを相手に一歩も引かずに戦い、最後には堂々たる勝利を収めた。昨夜(米国時間2/16)、Brad Rutterの獲得賞金は$10,400、KenJenningsが$4,800だったのに対し、Watsonはなんと$35,734を獲得して1位となった。最後にWatsonが正解に失敗したトロントという答え〔訳注〕さえ、わざと仕組まれたジョークではないかという声が出たほど圧倒的な勝利だった。 [...]


Posted by: 人工知能が新たな水準へ―IBMのWatson、人気クイズ番組ジョパディ!でチャンピオンを破る
 
February 16, 2011
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[...] of his handlers, David Ferrucci, explained on the IBM blog that in training, the category subject was downgraded in importance, as answers might be more [...]


Posted by: IBM « chipsandsauce
 
February 16, 2011
6:48 pm

[...] even speculating &#1072&#1109 t&#959 whether &#1110t&#1109 much ballyhooed f&#1072&#406&#1109&#1077 “Toronto” &#1072n&#1109w&#1077r &#1110&#1109 &#1109&#959m&#1077 sort computer [...]


Posted by: Does Watson Prove We?ve Reached The Singularity? [Video]
 
February 16, 2011
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[...] end of  night two yesterday. People are even speculating as to whether its much ballyhooed false “Toronto” answer is some sort computer [...]


Posted by: Does Watson Prove We’ve Reached The Singularity? [Video] | Bitmag
 
February 16, 2011
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[...] Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The Confusion over an Airport Clue | A Smarter Planet Blog [...]


Posted by: Daily links for 02/16/2011 | Blog | Bob Sutor
 
February 16, 2011
1:14 pm

[...] Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The Confusion over an Airport Clue | A Smarter Planet Blog. [...]


Posted by: Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The Confusion over an Airport Clue | A Smarter Planet Blog | Perceptibility
 
February 16, 2011
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[...] thing that has been puzzling IBM is how Watson could have got a question about Chicago’s airport so badly wrong, offering [...]


Posted by: IBM’s Watson shines on Jeopardy « 100gf | Politics and Computers
 
February 16, 2011
12:23 pm

[...] the match, there is still one subject it does not know: airports.  The Final Jeopardy clue went, “Its largest airport was named for a World War II hero; its second largest, for a World War II bat… Watson guessed “Toronto,” seemingly oblivious to the “U.S. Cities” [...]


Posted by: Today’s Post May Save Your Life from Watson the Annihilator | The LOdown
 
February 16, 2011
11:05 am

[...] performance thus far (including the little slip-up Watson had with the Final Jeopardy segment): http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2011/02/watson-on-jeopardy-day-two-the-confusion-over-an-airport-clue… Spread the word or die! Posted by littleviking | LittleViking, News, [...]


Posted by: Watson Kicking Ass at Jeopardy « RazeTheWorld RazeTheWorld
 
February 16, 2011
10:53 am

[...] johtaja David Ferrucci selvittää syitä haksahdukseen IBM:n blogissa. Yksi selitys on, että Watson ei kiinnitä kovin paljoa huomiota kategorioiden nimiin, koska [...]


Posted by: Ihmisillä leikitellyt Watson sähläsi maantiedon | Viihdeblogi
 
February 16, 2011
10:44 am

[...] Watson tripped up again in Final Jeopardy on which the computer wagered just $ 947. All three contestants were asked to identify a city with two airports: one named after a World War II hero and another named after a World War II battle. The correct answer was Chicago and both human contestants answered correctly. Watson, on the other hand, answered “Toronto” and was highly uncertain of its response. It appears the computer somehow failed to realize that the category, U.S. cities, would help narrow down its choices. You can check out IBM’s take on what went wrong on the company’s A Smarter Planet blog. [...]


Posted by: IBM’s Watson Dominates Jeopardy Competition on Day 2 | World news
 
February 16, 2011
10:12 am

[...] Ferrucci, the manager of the Watson project at IBM Research, discussed the miss, saying: First, the category names on Jeopardy! are tricky. The answers often do not [...]


Posted by: Watson Wins, but Humanity Will Continue - SportsNewser
 
February 16, 2011
9:56 am

[...] On IBM’s blog, project leader David Ferrucci explains why he thinks Watson was so wrong on the airport question—for one thing, he says, the computer doesn’t give category titles too much weight because they can be tricky on Jeopardy. Still, Watson survived that gaffe, and it showed that it knows how to hazard a guess if it must (even if the answer lies below its “confidence level” to buzz in on a normal clue). Watson did so successfully when it snagged the Daily Double earlier in the round: [...]


Posted by: Jeopardy, Day 2: IBM’s Watson Hammers Pitiful Human Competition | JetLib News
 
February 16, 2011
9:12 am

[...] issue, which was sort of elaborated on in an IBM blog post, stemmed from the fact that Watson “learned” not to take categories too much into [...]


Posted by: Sometimes you’ve gotta run before you can walk « Cleveland, Curveballs and Common Sense
 
February 16, 2011
7:43 am

[...] According to Stephen Baker, author of Final Jeopardy, a book about the Watson Jeopardy challenge, the supercomputer has difficulty with the Final Jeopardy portion of the game because it can’t refuse to answer if it has a bad guess. With a normal question, Watson can just choose not to answer and look smarter in the process. Baker spoke to All Things Digital about Watson’s mistake, where he elaborated on how it can appear both smart and stupid at the same time. IBM has also put up a blog post that delves into Watson’s Final Jeopardy trouble. [...]


Posted by: Mobile Games Online - IBM’s Watson obliterates humans in first Jeopardy round
 
February 16, 2011
7:04 am

[...] — which is not even a U.S. city, the subject of Final Jeopardy! IBM researchers attempted to explain what went wrong there, not that it mattered in the outcome — Watson bet only $947. This was [...]


Posted by: Not OK, Computer; The Last “Jeopardy!” Post For Now | What We Blog About When We Blog About Love
 
February 16, 2011
7:00 am

[...] See the full article at VentureBeat here, and find out why Watson doesn’t like Final Jeopardy here. [...]


Posted by: Watson Obliterates Humans « IBM: Who Knew?
 
February 16, 2011
6:24 am

[...] of his handlers, David Ferrucci, explained on the IBM blog that in training, the category subject was downgraded in importance, as answers might be more [...]


Posted by: IBM’s Watson jeopardizes humanity in game 2 | ADILSOFT
 
February 16, 2011
6:20 am

[...] of his handlers, David Ferrucci, explained on the IBM blog that in training, the category subject was downgraded in importance, as answers might be more [...]


Posted by: IBM’s Watson jeopardizes humanity in game 2
 
February 16, 2011
5:02 am

[...] of several confusing factors, according to David Ferrucci, whose post-game analysis appeared on IBM’s A Smarter Planet blog. Jeopardy category names are tricky because they “only weakly suggest” the expected answer, so [...]


Posted by: IBM’s Watson Wins in Jeopardy, Needs Lessons in US Geography | Fusion Group
 
February 16, 2011
4:37 am

[...] yesterday. (Toronto, Watson? If you’d like to know how Watson came up with that answer here is a great explanation by IBM [...]


Posted by: What is “A Nun, A Priest and a Rabbi…” « On The Pavement
 
February 16, 2011
4:06 am

[...] IBM posted this explanation for the mistake on its “Smarter Planet” blog: David Ferrucci, the manager of the Watson project at IBM Research, explained during a viewing of [...]


Posted by: Watson’s Final Jeopardy Blunder at NEWS.GeekNerdNetwork.com
 
February 16, 2011
3:42 am

[...] of several confusing factors, according to David Ferrucci, whose post-game analysis appeared on IBM’s A Smarter Planet blog. Jeopardy category names are tricky because they “only weakly suggest” the expected answer, so [...]


Posted by: Lessons Learnt As IBM’s Watson Wins At Jeopardy | eWEEK Europe UK
 
February 16, 2011
2:55 am

[...] A Smarter Planet Blog [...]


Posted by: Jeopardy! – Watson vs. Brad vs. Ken – Teil 2 | dirk_s txts
 
February 16, 2011
2:47 am

[...] According to Stephen Baker, author of Final Jeopardy, a book about a Watson Jeopardy challenge, a supercomputer has problem with a Final Jeopardy apportionment of a diversion since it can’t exclude to answer if it has a bad guess. With a normal question, Watson can only select not to answer and demeanour smarter in a process. Baker spoke to All Things Digital about Watson’s mistake, where he elaborated on how it can seem both intelligent and foolish during a same time. IBM has also put adult a blog post that delves into Watson’s Final Jeopardy trouble. [...]


Posted by: IBM’s Watson Obliterates Humans in First Jeopardy Round : World Bad News
 
February 16, 2011
2:13 am

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ~C4Chaos, sundarpichai. sundarpichai said: Pretty cool, wish there was a video link for this. Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The Confusion over an Airport Clue http://goo.gl/Uk3FA [...]


Posted by: Tweets that mention Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The Confusion over an Airport Clue | A Smarter Planet Blog -- Topsy.com
 
February 16, 2011
1:59 am

[...] not convinced that Watson isn’t Skynet? Tonight’s Final Jeopardy flub should convince you that Watson is, in the end, just a statistical analysis [...]


Posted by: Rankmaniac 2011 | Desire is Irrelevant. I am a Machine!
 
February 16, 2011
1:48 am

[...] of his handlers, David Ferrucci, explained on the IBM blog that in training, the category subject was downgraded in importance, as answers might be more [...]


Posted by: IBM’s Watson jeopardizes humanity in game 2 | thegame111
 
February 16, 2011
1:35 am

[...] of his handlers, David Ferrucci, explained on the IBM blog that in training, the category subject was downgraded in importance, as answers might be more [...]


Posted by: UsTik » IBM’s Watson jeopardizes humanity in game 2
 
February 16, 2011
1:04 am

[...] UPDATE: Tirsdags resultater er også inde – igen med masser af spænding og nogle overraskende situationer. Læs mere på IBMs blog her. [...]


Posted by: The Big Showdown – Watson mod mennesket i Jeopardy! « Harddisken
 
February 15, 2011
10:52 pm

[...] Ken and Brad correctly answered Chicago, yet Watson strangely guessed Toronto. Building a Smarter Planet (an IBM-sponsored blog) has an explanation: Watson, in his training phase, learned that categories only weakly suggest the kind of answer that [...]


Posted by: IBM Jeopardy Challenge – Day 2 « Stochastic Observations
 
February 15, 2011
10:35 pm

Why did IBM’s Watson blow Final Jeopardy so bad and why did it wager so low?…

Steve Hamm, an IBM researcher, published his hypothesis (http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2011/02/watson-on-jeopardy-day-two-the-confusion-over-an-airport-clue.html) as to why Watson was so off-base with its Final Jeopardy answer, and he believes it was …


Posted by: Quora
 
February 15, 2011
9:36 pm

[...] Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The confusion over an airport clue [...]


Posted by: The Foray > thewheatln2.com >>MAN MACHINE… IBM’s Watson finally hits Jeopardy! [but thinks Toronto is in the US...]
 
February 15, 2011
8:25 pm

Why did IBM’s Watson blow Final Jeopardy so bad and why did it wager so low?…

Here’s a response from the manager of the Watson program at IBM, David Ferrucci.

He explains the incorrect answer as a lack of clarity in the question (it did not ask “What U.S. City…”), and the low wager as protection of a the large lead.

http:…


Posted by: Quora
 
February 15, 2011
8:12 pm

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by IBMResearch, IBMResearch, David Benardo, Jeremy Bronson, John Connolly and others. John Connolly said: #Watson on #Jeopardy: The confusion over an airport clue explained: http://bit.ly/hdaM8o. #Toronto [...]


Posted by: Tweets that mention Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The Confusion over an Airport Clue | A Smarter Planet Blog -- Topsy.com
 
13 Tweets
 
February 16, 2011
9:18 pm

Why Watson said “Toronto” when “Chicago” was the abundantly clear answer? http://tinyurl.com/4sue5u9 #jeopardy


Posted by: KunalWalia (Kunal Walia)
 
February 16, 2011
5:00 pm

@AboveAllAerial How could Watson have been so wrong? Here’s an interesting article about the Jeopardy computer.. http://tinyurl.com/4sue5u9


Posted by: DigFloorPlans (Mike Holthouse)
 
February 16, 2011
4:32 pm

http://tinyurl.com/4sue5u9
Watson on Jeopardy! Day Two: The Confusion over an Airport Clue | A Smarter Planet Blog


Posted by: dog_race (dog_race)
 
February 16, 2011
4:57 am

RT @stevehamm31: Latest Watson/Jeopardy update: http://tinyurl.com/4sue5u9


Posted by: LeanneDrown (Leanne Drown)
 
February 16, 2011
1:57 am

Latest Watson/Jeopardy update: http://tinyurl.com/4sue5u9


Posted by: stevehamm31 (Steve Hamm)
 
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