Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mr. Watson, come here, I need you

Interesting flash game up here at the NY Times - you can play Jeopardy against a computer opponent, Watson, created by IBM. They've stacked the deck some in the human's favor - you get to go first, and play or pass on each question. I ended up winning 65-6 (yay, recall of useless trivia), although I deserved two more points (I didn't know how precisely to phrase the answer to the Before and After questions, so I mis-answered the first one).

It often seemed like the program was doing little more than a Google search on the question terms, although I'd guess there's a good bit more to it than that. A lot of the questions had some misleading or extraneous language, and that sometimes threw the computer off the scent. It has to be processing commonalities pretty well, and it's understanding the language well enough (most times) to discern the question. It did quite well at the "before and after" questions, too, and I'd think those would be the hardest, algorithmically.

Anyway, a fun diversion. It's going to be a while before we have to worry about Skynet terminating us in front of Alex Trebek, though. Something like this could be turned into an interesting one-player trivia game, though, and that's a difficult thing to make.

No comments:

Post a Comment