[Beowulf] IBM's Watson on Jeopardy tonight

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Feb 16 08:52:05 PST 2011

It was also interesting that the second answer on the machine's list was
often clearly ruled out by the question, yet would have a probability
like 30%.  The only example of this I remember gave a year in the 1600's
and asked who the Lucasian Chair was at that time.  The machine did pick
Newton, but its second best answer was Stephen Hawking, who was
obviously not around at the time.  

I was struck by that too.. the 2nd and 3rd choices were sometimes totally unreasonable.  Maybe that's more a flaw in the display than indicative of the underlying algorithms.  After all, knowing what the alternate choices are doesn't change the progress of the game.  For all we know it was a late add on to enhance the entertainment value.


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