'Jeopardy!' Loser Ken Jennings Feels No Shame About Being Trounced by a Computer

The three-day Jeopardy! Man vs. Machine challenge came to an end last night, and the machine won: Watson, IBM's "question answering machine," finished the competition with $77,147, compared with Ken Jennings' $24,000 and Brad Rutter's $21,600. Jennings, who became a celebrity when he went on a Jeopardy! winning streak in 2004, wrote a piece for Slate about how it felt to lose to a supercomputer. He insists he doesn't feel bad about his loss:

[T]here'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 disposal—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.

Read the full story at Slate.

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Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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