Monday, February 14, 2011

First Ever Byte vs. Brain Jeopardy! Competition

To air February 14, 15 and 16

After seven years of research and planning, thousands of hours of testing and over fifty champion-level sparring matches, IBM's Watson is finally ready to face the two greatest Jeopardy! champions in history - Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.  The first-ever man vs. machine Jeopardy! competition will air today and the next two days. The grand prize for this competition will be $1 million with second place earning $300,000 and third place $200,000. Rutter and Jennings will donate 50 percent of their winnings to charity, and IBM will donate 100 percent of its winnings to charity. 

IBM's Watson page says that preparing Watson for the Jeopardy! stage posed a unique challenge to the team: how to represent a system of 90 servers and hundreds of custom algorithms for the viewing public.

The result? A dynamic visual avatar based on the smarter planet icon. A speaking voice that clearly pronounces a vast vocabulary. And an answer panel that reveals the system’s top responses and confidence levels. Watch the video IBM - The Face of Watson to find out more about each of these elements.

Last week, PBSNewsHour's science correspondent Miles O'Brien   challenged the machine to a JEOPARDY! duel. Watch Miles, Watson and David Gondek, one of Watson's many creators, face off over unusual animal phobias, presidential tongue twisters and ... laundry detergent ... here.

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