IBM's Watson beats humans in 'Jeopardy' practice round

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by soulx, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. soulx
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    soulx GBAtemp Legend

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    So, in February IBM's Watson will be in an official Jeopardy tournament-style competition with titans of trivia Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. That competition will be taped starting tomorrow, but hopefully we'll get to know if a computer really can take down the greatest Jeopardy players of all time in "real time" as the show airs. It will be a historic event on par with Deep Blue vs. Garry Kasparov, and we'll absolutely be glued to our seats. Today IBM and Jeopardy offered a quick teaser of that match, with the three contestants knocking out three categories at lightning speed. Not a single question was answered wrongly, and at the end of the match Watson, who answers questions with a cold computer voice, telegraphing his certainty with simple colour changes on his "avatar," was ahead with $4,400, Ken had $3,400, and Brad had $1,200.

    Alright, a "win" for silicon for now, but without any Double Jeopardy or Final Jeopardy it's hard to tell how well Watson will do in a real match. What's clear is that he isn't dumb, and it seems like the best chance the humans will have will be buzzing in before Watson can run through his roughly three second decision process and activate his buzzer mechanically. An extra plus for the audience is a graphic that shows the three answers Watson has rated as most likely to be correct, and how certain he is of the answer he selects -- we don't know if that will make it into the actual TV version, but we certainly hope so. It's always nice to know the thought processes of your destroyer.

    While Watson's ability to understand questions, buzz in, and give a correct answer might seem very human-like, the actual tech behind Watson (dubbed "DeepQA" by IBM) is very computer-ey. Watson has thousands of algorithms it runs on the questions it gets, both for comprehension and for answer formulation. The thing is, instead of running these sequentially and passing along results, Watson runs them all simultaneously and compares all the myriad results at the end, matching up a potential meaning for the question with a potential answer to the question. The algorithms are backed up by vast databases, though there's no active connection to the internet -- that seems like it would be cheating, in Jeopardy terms.

    Much of the brute force of the IBM approach (and why it requires a supercomputer to run) is comparing the natural language of the questions against vast stores of literature and other info it has in its database to get a better idea of context -- it has a dictionary, but dictionary definitions of words don't go very far in Jeopardy or in regular human conversation. Watson learns over time which algorithms to trust in which situation (is this a geography question or a cute pun?), and presents its answers with a confidence level attached -- if the confidence in an answer is high enough, it buzzes in and wins Trebek Dollars.[/p]

    [​IMG] Source

    This is an impressive display of AI. It's not perfect yet, but it's getting there!
     
  2. _Chaz_

    _Chaz_ GBAtemp's Official Mook™

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    Holy Christ.

    I vote that IBM remake the Cleverbot site.
     
  3. soulx
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    soulx GBAtemp Legend

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    We would have to change the server Cleverbot's site runs on.
    Watson is a supercomputer.
     
  4. _Chaz_

    _Chaz_ GBAtemp's Official Mook™

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    It's fucking IBM, they can do it.
     
  5. ProtoKun7

    ProtoKun7 GBAtemp Time Lord Regenerations: 3

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    Pretty good computer, indeed.

    At one part I wondered if the computer might've actually finished the entire column first, but it didn't.
     
  6. SPH73

    SPH73 Banned

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    "Open the pod bay doors, Hal."
     
  7. Bladexdsl

    Bladexdsl ZOMG my posts...it's over 9000!!!

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    IBM is gonna make skynet you wait and see...were all doomed [​IMG]
     
  8. Stephapanda

    Stephapanda Clover's Wife

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    That was sort of interesting to watch. I wonder if it'd actually win in a real game.
     
  9. TehSkull

    TehSkull Living the life

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    I'm glad to see it wasn't a complete win by Watson. If it was perfect, then they wouldn't even bother having it play Jeopardy, as it would always win.

    I'll definitely need to mark down when this occurs. I need to watch this.
     
  10. Ikki

    Ikki GBATemp's grumpy panda.

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    That is creepy.

    Inb4 talk about intelligent robots and a rebellion against their creators
     
  11. Sheimi

    Sheimi A cute Vixen!

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    Oh wow, this is awesome to see Ken Jennings Lose
     
  12. sjones900

    sjones900 GBAtemp Advanced Member

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    Host: I'm sorry Watson, that is the wrong answer.
    Watson: DESTROY!! DESTROY!! DESTROY!!!
     
  13. InuYasha

    InuYasha Professional Coke Fiend

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    Chess is one thing,but honestly its pointless reguardless but thats my opinion...
     
  14. Slyakin

    Slyakin See ya suckers

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    That is exactly what I was thinking.


    Well, time to practice those fire crossbows.
     
  15. DeMoN

    DeMoN GBAtemp Guru

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    How do they expect a human to click the buzzer faster than this thing?
    And is there a rest of the video?
     
  16. SixtySixHundred

    SixtySixHundred GBAtemp Fan

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    Reaches for EMP... Just in case...

    Seriously, how bored are those chaps at IBM?...

    IBM Boffin #1: "Let's make a mega powerful computer."
    IBM Boffin #2: "Yeah, let's! We can use it to help the World!"
    IBM Boffin #1: "No, I've got a better idea!.."

    Pointless... But cool, still.
     
  17. Potticus

    Potticus GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I like the fact that it can click the buzzer and have time to search instantly.
     
  18. Bladexdsl

    Bladexdsl ZOMG my posts...it's over 9000!!!

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    SKYNET!
     
  19. cwstjdenobs

    cwstjdenobs Sodomy non sapiens

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    It's really not pointless. Imagine being able to ask your PC "Do I have any appointments today I can't put off", and it replying "Yes [please insert username], you have a dialysis session at 3pm". Or "Computer, search for blah blah blah" and it understands the question and only displays relevant results. The software is the amazing thing, the hardware is just a tool to get there quickly.
     
  20. TehSkull

    TehSkull Living the life

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    I'm sure it's in the programming to only click the buzzer after the calculations have finished and it has an answer with higher than 50% probability.

    Humans can cheat. We could press the button and as Kebert Xela is saying our name we can think about the answer.