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Man vs. Machine

I don't know if any of you caught Jeopardy last week or not. The internet was buzzing about it for a while.

Now I am not normally into or a fan of Jeopardy that much. I find it a little on the boring side, but that is another story.

It has sort of been labeled Man vs. Machine or Man vs. Computer take your pick I guess. The show put two of Jeopardy's most successful contestants up against IBM's supercomputer named Watson.

Going into this, I really didn't expect too much. They explained how it would work to some extent, but didn't go into all the technical details. From what I understand the computer (Watson) was not plugged into the internet. It would simply search it's hard drives for the best answer. Whether it originally was plugged into the internet at one time in order to acquire all that information or not I don't know. I can't imagine someone manually entering all the data, but then again maybe that had a big team doing this.

I think the computer had a little jump on the two human contestants because it would ring in with extreme accuracy. It was almost creepy at times to see the thing answer correctly. However, it didn't always have the correct response. When it got it wrong, it got it very wrong. Which, was actually funny to hear the strange response it would come up with. When it would bet on Double Jeopardy questions it bet some really odd numbers you wouldn't expect from most humans.

At any rate the computer won and IBM donated their winnings to charity. The two other contestants agreed to donate 1/2 of their winnings to charity. So overall it was for a good cause.

What is interesting about watching this is it was hard to believe that this computer could actually get these questions right most of the time. And, it did so with extreme speed.

So after watching this 3 day event it makes me wonder what is next for the world of computers. I never expected to see something like that in my time, and there it was. Granted it was a very expensive supercomputer by corporation well off financially. But, who knows what might come about as a result of their research and development. Like I said it was kind of creepy at times. And, even creepier just wondering if other corporations or governments have or are developing something like this too.

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02.21.2011 (2464 days ago)
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