IBM's computer wins 'Jeopardy!' but... Toronto?
In this undated publicity image released by Jeopardy Productions, Inc., host Alex Trebek, left, poses with contestants Ken Jennings, centre, and Brad Rutter and a computer named Watson in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. on Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.
Published Tuesday, February 15, 2011 11:15PM EST
Watson, IBM's quiz-master computer with the strangely serene voice, beat the humans on "Jeopardy!" tonight. But it got the final question on U.S. cities wrong, answering: Toronto.
By the end of the two-day match, Watson had $35,734.
It was up against two legendary players: Ken Jennings, who finished with $2,400, and Brad Rutter, who came in second with $5,400.
Watson uses more than 100 different algorithms, each one looking at a Jeopardy! clue, to determine the likely answer. But it doesn't actually "know" anything, in the traditional sense.
That was apparent in "Final Jeopardy!" when the clue was: "Its largest airport is named for a WWII hero. Its second largest, for a WWII battle."
Although the category was U.S. cities, Watson answered: "What is Toronto????" The correct answer was Chicago.
Author Stephen Baker, who wrote about the machine in "Final Jeopardy: Man vs Machine and the Quest to Know Everything," said Watson is the "next great hurdle for computers."
He told CTV.ca earlier this month that Watson has a "super ability to analyze things statistically."
But human quiz contestants don't have to give up hope just yet. Jennings and Rutter still have another chance to beat Watson when the second game airs.