On 'Jeopardy!,' Humans Will Battle Machines

More

Ken Jennings, the winningest Jeopardy! player in history having played 74 games in a row back in the 2004-2005 season, will go up against Watson, an IBM program developed by the company's artificial intelligence team, this coming February. The winner gets a $1 million cash prize, which IBM, if it's able to show that artifical intelligence has advanced to the point where it can beat a human in an unpredictable question and answer game, will give the money away to charity.

The competition is reminiscent of when IBM developed a chess-playing computer to compete against chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997.

The "Jeopardy!" answer-and-question format is a different kind of challenge. It often requires contestants to deal with subtleties, puns and riddles and come up with answers fast.

"Watson" is named for IBM founder Thomas J. Watson. It will look nothing like the computer "maid" on "The Jetsons." Rather, IBM said its on-screen appearance will be represented by a round avatar.

The computer has already been tested in some 50 games against past "Jeopardy!" champions. But neither IBM nor "Jeopardy!" representatives would say what "Watson's" record was.

Read the full story at the Associated Press.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Ghost Trains of America

Can a band of locomotive experts save vintage railcars from ruin?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

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

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In