Jeopardy! Champs vs. Computer

I thought Watson was going to clean house there for a second.

  1. Looks like he had no real preference in selecting categories. While he had control, IIRC, he went for the $200 (or whatever) row first, rather than any column.

2.Liked that we saw his other choices as well. Interesting to see that he went off on “Lady Madonna” and had a Madonna Song as his third choice.

  1. I think the key issue was that Watson can’t ““Hear””. I’m not so sure there can be a fix for this. I mean, they could fix it, but it would mean Watson has to recalculate. From where would Watson recalculate, and what time frame would he have to do it in?

Ken seemed to be pissed off. There was a point when he just rang in just to ring in. He added some banter, “I Don’t Know” and then came up with an answer.

It would seem IBM is close to getting a machine that can play a game. I doubt IBM can get Watson to ‘game’ his play.

I missed the reign Brad had his first time around. But I’m glad he pulled out ahead. Really thought that Watson would either smoke his competition, or not connect on anything. That the Jeopardy round ended in a tie, is … interesting.

Just loved how he got one answer wrong, and he immediately goes orange. Almost like he was embarrassed.

Watson’s calculation process takes roughly three seconds, so even if they added a “hearing” component, considering the pacing of Jeopardy, it wouldn’t give him enough time to answer the question anyway.

That’s how Ken plays. He’s admitted that a great deal of his playing strategy is knowing when to hit the buzzer. This strategy, of course, only works if you know enough about the category, and are comfortable enough with the clue dollar amount, to wager you’ll be able to get the answer once you’ve buzzed in.

They have an online version where you can play against Watson here:

I played it and beat Watson 49 to 17, but it appears to playing without a time limit is a huge advantage. From what I saw today, I suspect Watson has a big advantage on the easier questions, because Watson can punch in faster than a human can. On some of the questions, I’m sure that any of the contestants could have answered it, but Watson just beat them to the buzzer.

I wonder if Watson keeps processing after it buzzes in until Alex asks for an answer? I would think that would give it a much better chance to come up with the right answer.

What I’ve seen so far is pretty impressive. It looks like to could be a major change for help lines and such.

That might make some sense; use the lowest value entry to get an idea of what the category is about. That way, if you have no clue, you can spend the time between questions thinking about it. (At least, that’s what I might have done). Of course, that pre-supposes that he’s given the right answer, which I don’t recall anyone saying if he did.

Being first on the buzzer looked to make all the difference; Watson’s pending answers when he was beaten to the punch were almost always correct.

I was interested to see that Watson’s context is still way off. For example(s), the question on Voldemort (which I imagine 50% of the people watching could figure out), he had no guess, which was good since his first one was Harry Potter.

Also, notice that Watson can use pronouns (he answered “who is” on at least one occasion), but not always; he said “What is Sauron” and (IIRC) also “What is Elenor Rigby”. So his understanding isn’t as deep as it might seem.

From what I saw, it seemed to me that Watson has the most trouble on the questions that involve a bit of wordplay. He was nowhere near the correct answer on the “apex” question. Likewise, on the Harry Potter question he was able to determine that the clue was referencing Harry Potter, but he missed the “if you could only say his name” part that would alert a human that the answer was “Voldemort”.

Here’s hoping that the next two episodes have a lot less padding.

Did anyone else notice that the very first time Watson got to select a clue, he went straight to the Daily Double? I immediately started shouting that the fix was in.

but would it really be helpful to go for the daily double first? he got $1000 off of an $800 clue, but if he really had had advanced knowledge, wouldn’t it have been better to wait to choose it until he had more money, and could make a bigger wager?

Half of the show to go, with two more episodes.

Padding central. :frowning:

I think it all depends on how watson “got there” Elenor Rigby is the title of the song, correct? So Watson got there, no doubt, by going through Titles of Beatles songs.

But yeah, IIRC seems like Alex was … they seem to give Watson some benefit of the doubt.

I would too, but I’m just saying that there is room for improvement here.

Talking about the show, it just occurred to me that you couldn’t get a worse question for Watson. Given his lexical parsing strategy, figuring out a character’s name when his name is never written, would be next to impossible.

He’s designed to fill the hole in the puzzle with his information, but his information had a big hole, and he apparently can’t handle recursion. :smiley:

even the human contestants sometimes use the wrong pronoun but I’ve never seen Alex not accept it

True, but it seems like a category that was mostly Beatles lyrics played right into Watson’s hands.

For that matter, there have been no audio or video clues so far. I expect they deliberately left those out, which would mean the game is accommodating Watson’s limitations.

No, it wouldn’t be a problem at all. He already comes up with multiple possible answers, so if his top answer is eliminated, he just moves on to #2 (or decides not to buzz in, if his confidence in #2 is too low). He wouldn’t need to recalculate anything. You would need a little extra processing power to handle the voice recognition, but that’d be, like, one more processor, not an order of magnitude more. And it wouldn’t even need to be full voice recognition (which is difficult and usually requires training to a particular voice), but just a Boolean “does this match my first answer choice”.

This isn’t an easier problem than general voice recognition.

What surprised me was how poorly Watson did on the Decade questions. Those questions were ones where you only need to identify the date that certain things happened. What decade was the first airplane flight, what decade was War of the Worlds broadcast? Seems absolutely trivial for a computer to get right, but Watson had very low confidence and his alternate answers were often not even valid for the category. Funny.

The only aspect of this that I’m not thrilled about is the pushing of the button, it seems to me that a computer has a big advantage over a human in being able to hit the button first.

Glad I recorder this, which I do every night for Jeopardy. Waaaaay too many commercials, and I saw the NOVA episode, so all the background shit was redundant.

I am boycotting this stunt. I’ll start watching Jeopardy! again once the stunt is over.

No, you are not required to use the appropriate form. “Where is Shakespeare?” or “Who is Saskatchewan?” are acceptable. It’s annoying if you’re doing it on purpose to show how clever you are, but if you’re just rattled and nervous, the judges don’t care. In Final Jeopardy, they tell you what to write down before the clue is revealed, so all three contestants already have “What is” on their slates.

I believe they’re playing two games.

If this is the case, then it would seem to me that no harm was done here.

Yes, I would assume moving the entire Jeopardy Production to “Somewhere in Upstate New York” kinda accommodates for Watson, far beyond Audio and Visual. :slight_smile:

To the first part: On the letter of this, I agree, it would seem to be all too easy to bubble sort chronology and ring in. My mom watched the show and asked me where did Watson get his information, if not from the Internet. Did they cover this?

The Second: It would seem they handpicked categories to give Watson a mix of difficulty.

I caught some of the stuff online as well. Redundant is an understatement. Then again, I think the entire thing is an advertisement for IBM so, a certain amount of this is to be expected.

Then again, if everyone watching Jeopardy! watched NOVA, the questions would still be as hard as ever. [At least I’ve been told this happened, I’m about as young as the show is, at 28.]

**I for one welcome my “Response in the form of a Question” overlords. **

This would be Ideal. Would love to see a game with no padding / IBM sponsored banter. And perhaps Watson gets to talk to Alex during the small talk moment. He could sing a song.

Daisy Bell