Watson on Jeopardy: Day 3

February 16, 2011 Posted by Tyler Cruz

Who watched Watson on Jeopardy: Day 2 yesterday? It was insane.

The supercomputer which IBM invested tens of millions of dollars in completely walked over its opponents to win the first match.

Apart from making a couple of mistakes, if Watson were a human contestant, people would think he slept with the producers and got a list of all the answers beforehand.

Day 2 started with Watson at $5,000, Brad Rutter at $5,000, and Ken at $2,000. Watson ended up being even more impressive than the previous day. By the end of the first break, Watson had over 6x the amount of both his opponents combined!


A funny moment occurred when Watson received a Daily Double. Alex asked him what he would like to wager, and Watson responded with “$6,435”. It was the “thirty-five dollars” part that made the audience laugh, and Alex responded with “I won’t ask….” Smile

Watson of course answered correctly. And a lot of the questions were pretty difficult and worded in very riddle-like ways, but Watson still steamrolled right through them.

Final Jeopardy was also interesting. The question was “Its largest airport is named for a World War II hero; its second largest for a World War II battle”. Both Ken and Brad answered correctly with “What is Chicago?”, both doubling up their totals.

But Watson responded with “What is Toronto??????” (including the question marks) – which was apparently an indication that he was not very confident.

I bet the IBM team was a little nervous, hoping that Watson didn’t wager all of his earnings, even though I’m sure they spent countless nights programming him so that he wouldn’t make such a blunder.

He ended up wagering only $947 to which Alex responded “Oh you sneak!”.

The final results can be seen below:


Tomorrow will be the last day of the IBM Jeopardy challenge, to which another full game will be played, and the final totals of both games will determine the winner.

Watson already has such an incredible lead that he will have to make huge errors in tomorrow’s game in order to lose, or else Ken and/or Brad will need to take huge chances such as buzzing in before they even know the answer and waging 100% in Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy.

Below are 2 video clips from yesterday’s episode, for those of you who missed it. Watch them while you can (before YouTube deletes ‘em)!:

(Note: You may need to visit the post directly at TylerCruz.com if you’re reading this via e-mail or RSS in order to see it.)

Don’t miss the final day in the challenge tonight!

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Posted: February 16th, 2011 under Miscellaneous  

10 Responses to “Watson on Jeopardy: Day 3”

  1. Michael Kwan says:

    I thought Final Jeopardy was particularly interesting, because the category was US Cities. Why on Earth would Watson choose Toronto? Sure, it’s American-esque, but it’s not technically a US city.

  2. Dino Vedo says:

    hahha like i thought.. watson will win!

  3. Watson really needs some sort of human reflex limitation. I guess it’s fun to see a computer answer trivia, but it isn’t really a competition.

  4. Paulymath says:

    Now they just need to master Warp Drive technology and they can build the USS Enterprise, since they already have the “Computer” figured out.

    The question is, what will happen to innovation when they “invent” all the stuff that we saw on Star Trek 15-20 years ago?

    We need more Star Trek episodes for new ideas. And none of that prequel crap either.

  5. LukePeerFly says:

    The thing I find most surprising about Watson is that they did not just add voice recognition to him. I know the technology is out there. It would be much better if he had to process the question “like” a human, by hearing it. Also, I think overall it would make him much more impressive.

    Still, very cool.

  6. My question is…. Who can beat Watson???

  7. I’m very impressed by the ability of Watson

  8. Congrats to IBM and Watson for their amazing achievement over the past few years. This is an incredible break through for technology andI anticipate great things from it. It is a shame how many folks seem to have a poor grasp on the complexity of the problem and consider this whole exercise “stupid”. There will always be a troll for every subject.

  9. Preethi says:

    Watson is toooooooooooo good..awesome.. 🙂


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