Computer named Watson beats out human contestants on Jeopardy.
by New York Times:
For I.B.M., the showdown was not merely a well-publicized stunt and a $1 million prize, but proof that the company has taken a big step toward a world in which intelligent machines will understand and respond to humans, and perhaps inevitably, replace some of them.
Watson, specifically, is a “question answering machine” of a type that artificial intelligence researchers have struggled with for decades — a computer akin to the one on “Star Trek” that can understand questions posed in natural language and answer them.
Watson showed itself to be imperfect, but researchers at I.B.M. and other companies are already developing uses for Watson’s technologies that could have significant impact on the way doctors practice and consumers buy products.
In its “Jeopardy!” project, I.B.M. researchers were tackling a game that requires not only encyclopedic recall, but the ability to untangle convoluted and often opaque statements, a modicum of luck, and quick, strategic button pressing.
The contest, which was taped in January here at the company’s T. J. Watson Research Laboratory before an audience of I.B.M. executives and company clients, played out in three televised episodes concluding Wednesday. At the end of the first day, Watson was in a tie with Brad Rutter, another ace human player, at $5,000 each, with Mr. Jennings trailing with $2,000.
But on the second day, Watson went on a tear. By night’s end, Watson had a commanding lead with a total of $35,734, compared with Mr. Rutter’s $10,400 and Mr. Jennings’ $4,800.
And so it begins, haha kidding. But this does remind me of a prequel to the Terminator movie sequels.
Still kinda cool though, in a computers might be taking over the human (and martian) universe one day.