'Jeopardy!' to pit human champs against IBM computer
December 14th, 2010
02:26 PM ET

'Jeopardy!' to pit human champs against IBM computer

Call it the digital age's John Henry showdown. But this time, it's "Jeopardy!," not a train tunnel, and an IBM computer instead of a steam shovel.

The iconic game show announced Tuesday that it will pit Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, its all-time most successful contestants, against "Watson," an IBM computing system, in a series of battles next year.

The showdown, to be aired February 14-16, will feature two matches to see if a machine can compete in a contest that will require it to interpret real-language questions (or, in "Jeopardy!" parlance, answers), research them and answer quicker than the flesh-and-blood champs.

"After four years, our scientific team believes that Watson is ready for this challenge based on its ability to rapidly comprehend what the 'Jeopardy!' clue is asking, analyze the information it has access to, come up with precise answers, and develop an accurate confidence in its response," David Ferrucci, the scientist leading the IBM Research team that has created Watson, said in a written release.

"Beyond our excitement for the match itself, our team is very motivated by the possibilities that Watson's breakthrough computing capabilities hold for building a smarter planet and helping people in their business tasks and personal lives."

Watson's software is powered by an IBM Power7 server and, according to developers, is optimized to process complex questions and render answers quickly.

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soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. The Truth

    CNN, this is pathetic reporting. I could have read this in the National Inquirer.

    December 14, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. SkynetMessenger2.0

    Skynet, Sky People... Blah blah blah. Both metaphors for heaven and angels. Never trust anyone with the initials JC. James Cameron, John Connor and Jeebus Crisco. They are not real messengers.

    December 14, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jeebus Crisco Messenger Service, inc.

    @Sky 2 point zero...our attorney's will be in touch.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. really?

    IBM is still around?

    December 15, 2010 at 6:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. ***dude***

    Oh baby, what does your attorney look like?

    December 15, 2010 at 6:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Sutler

    All your base are belong to us!

    December 15, 2010 at 6:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. T2

    Come wit me if u want 2 live

    December 15, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Paula

    With videos and wi, humans never have to go outside anymore; now with Watson and future computer technology, we won't have to think or learn anymore! What a life!

    December 15, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Richard in Texas

    Sure taking on the champs is easy. How would watson do against Sean Connery from Saturday Night Live?

    December 15, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Erich

    Here is a sneak peek at Watson on Jeopardy:

    December 16, 2010 at 3:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. hughster1

    To find out what might happen – check out this sketch we did in our weekly comedy show in Hollywood!

    http://www.topstoryweekly.com/2009/08/04/watch-matt-moores-del-close-award-nominated-performance-as-the-jeopardy-robot/

    December 16, 2010 at 4:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
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