7:56: Watson guesses wrong with Toronto! Obviously, he's never been to the Windy City. Good thing he only wagered $947. Trebek: "Oh, you sneak." Ken and Brad both got the question right. Neither looked that pleased.
7:54: Final Jeopardy is where legends are born. Category: U.S. Cities. Question: "Its largest airport is named for a WWII hero, its second largest for a WWII battle."
7:50: Watson sure knows a lot about hedgehogs. The computer ends the round with more than $36,000. Brad has something like $5,400. Jennings probably just wants to go home and take a cold shower. I don't see any way Jennings can claw his way back from this defeat, unless he suddenly becomes an art history expert overnight.
7:48: And we're back. Watson, with a brief pause in the beginning, is killing it. Ken gets an answer in edgewise. Everyone's stumped on a question about the King of Spain. Odd.
7:46: Another infomercial, this time about dealing with the torrents of data and information that pour down on everyone else. The idea of programming "insight" is intriguing...I wonder what that looks like in schematics.
IBM's making the comparison to using computer programs to read through massive amounts of medical information in the healthcare system. "We need the tools to glean the best [from medical data]...Most of that data is in natural language, not code."
7:43: The poor measly humans can't even get a word in edgewise. Watson has answered every question from the beginning of the round to the commercial break. Michelle Legro wondered last night if Watson's creators would have a chance to tweak the supercomputer's settings before this round. Maybe he just had a complete breakfast.
7:42: Watson hits another Daily Double, wagers $1,246...and nails it with only 32% confidence. Can a machine get cold feet?
7:40: Watson, Ken, and Brad are all stumped on an art question. Intriguing.
7:39: Watson is just killing it right now. He nailed seven questions in a row, right out of the gate. And a $6,435 wager on a Daily Double? Only a machine.
7:34: The speech problems that face robotics and AI are interesting (the "open answer" question). "Language is a human artifact." Perhaps I spoke too soon regarding this introductory video. "Jeopardy! is a real challenge. It requires regionalisms, nuances, and slang that a computer can't be programmed to do." Is language at the heart of human intelligence? Interesting question.
7:33: The introductory video for IBM is fascinating, but it feels like an infomercial. Space analogies, fellas? This isn't IBM's "Sputnik moment" (or is it? Let's read on).
7:32: Brad Rutter looks confident. Ken Jennings, not so much.
7:30: Goodbye, Vanna White: It's robot time. Jeopardy! is gearing up for the DC area. If you live in a city with consistent cable, feel free to leave your thoughts on this round in the comments section.