-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
Ken Jennings holds the record for the longest winning streak on Jeopardy! Brad Rutter holds the record for the most money won on Jeopardy!, nearly $3.3 million. The two are being challenged by an IBM computer named “Watson.” The three matches will air Feb. 14-16.
In 1997 IBM’s computer “Big Blue” competed against chess champion Gary Kasparov. This ain’t no game of chess.
The issues this time are a lot trickier. The answers (questions?) are more subtle, and often puns and riddles are involved. I hope the questions are normal Jeopardy! questions and are not tailored to “Watson’s” strengths.
I’ll be watching and will repost when the match dates get closer.
You can read more about the Jeopardy! challenge, here.
H/T: Yahoo News.
14 thoughts on “I’ll Take Potent Potables for $1000, Alex”
The syndicated radio show was Anything Goes with Lise Avery over WFDU. if you go to anythinggoesradio.com you can hear the interview with Woodman in the interview archives section.
Hi David, can you provide more information? Which syndicated radio show was it that Woodman appeared on, and when? Or is your only source the post by “Helen Turner” to the Ken Jennings message board? Thanks–RKS
Interesting tidbit! Thanks for the information. I had just assumed they had gotten better at tweaking output from the more traditional electronically generated text-to-speech conversion by using sound processing algorithms. My grandfather always said that any day you learn something new is not a wasted day. Thanks for the assist!
@Buddha Is Laughing. The reason Watson’s voice is so nuanced and human sounding is because it was provided by a human, not generated electronically.
While IBM initially tried to keep it anonymous, NY Times readers and several bloggers “outed” Watson’s voice as that of actor/audiobook narrator Jeff Woodman.
Woodman recently confirmed this fact on a syndicated radio show. The voice is from recordings he made for IBM in 2004 for a text-to-speech program.
Watchable videos of the practice round, and an interview with one of the IBM team:
This video set is interesting because it shows the answers and confidence scores that Watson is assigning on the screen.
IBM is clearly aiming this leap in AI at commercial applications in medicine.
No doubt this technology set will also rapidly be adopted by government “intelligence” agencies in the decade to come. One more reason that citizens must guard their privacy in digital domains at all costs. Information will be associated and packaged in ways that we cannot yet imagine.
And from Wired:
There is an update today:
Should be an excellent match.
I’ll take Profits over 100 million…….
Thanks for the vid puzzling; fascinating and exciting.
In addition to being a test of Watson’s confidence algorithms, it will also be an interesting display of what the cutting edge in natural language recognition is capable of doing.
Too bad they can’t get the late Majel Barrett-Roddenberry to provide the voice of Watson, but I’ll have to say that the vocalization generated by Watson in the video puzzling linked to is much more nuanced and human sounding than computer voices past.
My money is on Jennings. He is a “machine” on that show.
This will be interesting.
That’s awesome! I put “Record Jeopardy” on the calender. Thanks for the post Nal.
They will use regular questions. The word play questions must be extremely challenging to program for.
The confidence algorithm used by the team is fascinating. Here’s a direct link to a video from earlier this summer:
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