IBM researcher Tony Pearson has a blog post on building your own Watson (Jr.) using commodity hardware and open source software.
Former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings writes about his experience losing to IBM’s Watson on Jeopardy!.
But there’s no shame in losing to silicon, I thought to myself as I greeted the (suddenly friendlier) team of IBM engineers after the match. After all, I don’t have 2,880 processor cores and 15 terabytes of reference works at my disposalâ€”nor can I buzz in with perfect timing whenever I know an answer. My puny human brain, just a few bucks worth of water, salts, and proteins, hung in there just fine against a jillion-dollar supercomputer.
In preparation for next week’s tournament Slate has a story on J-Archive, the nearly comprehensive online Jeopardy! archive along with one on the most common categories and hardest clues in Jeopardy! history.
I’ll take Man vs. Machine for $200, Alex.
InformaationWeek has a slideshow on Watson, the computer that will compete on Jeopardy. The competition with Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter will be aired on February 14-16.
Watson has already beaten the two champions in practice, in case you’re the wagering type.
At first the idea of pitting humans against computers on ‘Jeopardy!’ sounds like a fair fight. But given the linguistic complexity of some of the clues, I think Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter could give Watson a run for IBM’s money. Just think about the number of times you’ve seen contestants misunderstand the category and/or the clues themselves and keep in mind that understanding human languages has been a tough problem for computers since the beginning and you’ll see what I mean. Should be worth watching, no matter what.