Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Man vs. Computer Day 2 - THIS IS GETTING SCARY

via Joey, once again.......

0:00 – Day 2! Now with brand-new YouTube Time Stamps! For only 3 easy payments of 19.95! Snuggie not included.

1:40 – It’s funny how Deep Blue is now considered obsolete. It’s actually in museums. According to Wikipedia: “One of the two racks that made up Deep Blue is on display at the National Museum of American History in their exhibit about the Information Age; the other rack appears at the Computer History Museum in their "Mastering The Game: A History of Computer Chess" exhibit.” That’s right. The supercomputer is already obsolete. And you people who remember Betamax though you were the only ones who feel old…

3:20 – Natural language is a human artifact. That’s not something you think about as that special but it’s true. Simply being able to “get” what another person is saying is one of those amazing things that we just don’t think about much because it’s so routine.

5:13 – It’ll be interesting to see how Watson does with a category with quotations. Has he been programmed to “know” that every answer must include the word “church” or “state.”

5:54 – Watson still has trouble with pronunciations, making mistakes on “Dengue” and “Brute”

6:47 – Great comedic timing by Trebek. If Watson goes on to win the Challenge by a dollar now I will officially be terrified.

8:02 – Watson’s been programmed with betting strategies so he knows that he’s dominating and doesn’t need to risk much. Side note: I like how they programmed him to comment on when he’s not sure. Nice touch.


0:01 – So Watson is just dominating. It’s not that Ken and Brad don’t know the answers, a machine just has better timing. The potential uses for Watson are pretty amazing. This editorial from the Boston Globe elaborates a bit.

1:08 – The diagnosis potential sounds pretty cool. Watson as a life saver. Sounds pretty plausible and exciting.

4:25 – Ken and Brad are clearly getting frustrated. Nobody likes losing badly, not even in an exhibition.

5:29 – It’s probably not funny if you have it, but narcolepsy has got to be a funny thing see in person. Especially if it involves cataplexy – falling asleep caused by strong emotion. That guy’s never going to win a heated argument. But on the plus side, he will have an easier time “chilling out” and relaxing afterwards.

6:43 – This isn’t even a classic Final Jeopardy, but it is difficult because if you don’t have the knowledge, it’s a tough bunch of databases to mix. Ken and Brad both got it quickly I’m sure because airport names are a fun trivia topic and there are only so many cities that have two large airports and even less that have their biggest named for a WW II Hero. I didn’t know that Midway Airport was named for the Battle of Midway, but I did know that Chicago O’Hare had its name changed from Orchard Field (which is why the airport code is still ORD) to honor Butch O’Hare, the WW II flying ace. But Watson can’t really take the “hint.” In the question and that’s why he’ll have a tougher time.

7:59 – Why Toronto? A good explanation here.

Watson, however, is smart enough not to bet a lot, which leaves it to Ken and Brad to find some fortuitous Daily Doubles if they’re going to even have a chance at keeping this close. But the computer, it appears, is just too quick.

OK, G6 here again - back with one bit of my own personal commentary. I find it amusing that even with WATSON involved, they feel the need for the "privacy screens". We wouldn't want the computer peeking, now would we?


Yekkishe Bekishe said...

Thank you very much,

Yehudah said...

Thank you for posting. A bit scary but also very interesting at the same time. I agree with some commenters on the web that Watson has an unfair buzzer advantage.

Bad4 said...

Thanks for posting. I forgot about this, but I'm riveted.

It's interesting how Watson does so much better on the technical questions, but the more esoteric or lingual it gets, the harder time it has.

It's not scary at all, though. Because all it's doing is intelligent search. Ultimately, it's just the Google of the future.