[Beowulf] IBM's Watson on Jeopardy tonight

Jonathan Aquilina eagles051387 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 16 00:13:39 PST 2011


this is quite an interesting read.

question becomes are computers just as smart as we are?

I'm quite surprised that the computer doesn't have a massive lead

On 2/15/11 10:55 PM, David Mathog wrote:
> Jim Lux pointed out in an earlier post the reaction time element on
> buzzing in from the (invisible to the audience) "go" light.  I only
> watched about 10 minutes of this, but my impression was that the machine
> did have a reaction time advantage.  Alex T. was a little vague on how
> the machine was fed the question and if he explained what its equivalent
> of the "go" light is I missed it.  It could be decisive - sending the
> entire question to the machine at the instant it became visible to the
> humans would give the machine an advantage, since it could digest the
> message before the contestants eyes could even track across the first
> line of text, let alone until they heard the entire question. In any
> case, for the part I watched the machine was beating the humans to the
> buzzer pretty consistently.  It was cute, but a little silly, that the
> machine had to push the button with a mechanical plunger.  Unless they
> built a typical human reaction delay into that mechanism one would
> expect the plunger to be much faster than a thumb.
> In terms of score/watt the humans had the machine beat by a mile :-).
> David Mathog
> mathog at caltech.edu
> Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech
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