'Jeopardy!' Man vs. Machine: 3 Highlights

Watson, IBM's supercomputer, made his debut on Jeopardy! last night, facing off against two of the game show's most celebrated contestants—Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter—in the first part of an extended three-day contest. Double Jeopardy and Final Jeopardy will be played today and on Wednesday, and as it stands Watson is tied with Cutter with $5,000 in earnings. The episode was as about as exciting as watching a computer answering trivia questions with a robotic voice could be, but given the cultural significance of the February sweeps stunt—will computers like Watson obviate the need for humans in certain jobs?—we've singled out the three highlights:

After answering the second clue of the game correctly, Watson chose a category for the first time. By chance, that clue happened to be a Daily Double. He wagered the maximum amount, $1,000, and answered correctly.



Watson also proved himself to be somewhat of a pop culture expert with his domination of the category "Beatles People."



What everyone was really watching for, however, was to see Watson goof. He did, of course, and it was quite embarrassing. Here he is repeating an incorrect answer that Ken Jennings had given just seconds before:


The next segment of Jeopardy!: Man vs. Machine airs tonight. Check local listings for time and channel information.

Presented by

Kevin Fallon is a reporter for the Daily Beast. He's a former entertainment editor at TheWeek.com and former writer and producer for The Atlantic's entertainment channel.

What LBJ Really Said About Selma

"It's outrageous what's on TV. It looks like that man is in charge of the country."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What LBJ Really Said About Selma

"It's going to go from bad to worse."

Video

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Inside a family's fight to use marijuana oils to treat epilepsy

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

More in Entertainment

Just In