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The challenge is coming next week on NBC, airing will be on the 14, 15 and 16. This is not a show I watch so I do not know if CBC's Jeopardy is a rebroadcast of the american show.
But I will watch this serie of shows to see to which level a machine can understand and compute a human voice. Like I previously said, I really think this is a major step in the development of future application that will affect our daily life. Other than the coding, IBM has probably build an enormous library of data to be able to give answers.
I remember, as I was a chess player, that Deep Blue was a major event at the time. Will there be a cheating controversy this time?
 

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I'm really looking forward to this. Computers are great at solving clearly defined goals with known boundaries - it becomes increasingly more difficult once you begin tackling problems that can't easily be translated into something that makes sense to a computer, such as language.

There shouldn't be any cheating controversies this time around for a couple of reasons. Some of the rules surrounding the Kasparov/Deep Blue rematch weren't really that fair - there was a lot of secrecy around Deep Blue's development. And there were changes made to its programming by the IBM team from match to match. Most importantly, Kasparov had close to no knowledge of Deep Blue's playing 'style' - the development of the computer basically never stopped, whereas the DB team had a wealth of information about their opponent in the form of access to every move in every match he had ever participated in. You got the sense that the goal of beating Kasparov was more important to IBM than the spirit of the competition.

This time around, there's a much higher entertainment factor (it is, a game show, after all). IBM held a media-friendly practice round with Jennings and Rutter with Watson back in January. Most importantly, that version of Watson was final i.e. that was the deadline after which no more changes to the machine was going to be made. So the version the human contestants practiced against is the same one competing in the show.

There are definitely a lot of applications this type of technology can be used for.
 

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There was a good piece about Watson on Nova Science Now on PBS and the decision algorithms they're using to make him understand puns, subtlety and other hard to just do a straight search for data. They were going to do this awhile ago but due to the unique nature at which Watson thinks IBM was nervous about the outcome.
 

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ksk223, following your post I went through my tv recording and find the Nova show.
I though the system was able to speech recognition but it is feed with a keyboard or sort of. But we see in Nova, from the translation app, that speech recognition will be a minor step to implement in future.
The answers that Watson gives on trial clearly shows the subtility of the language and its interpretation. That is propably why I understand only about half the questions in this tv show compare to nearly 100% if it would be in french.

IBM is planning to sell, to major companies, similar systems base on commercial computers for around 1M$ plus the software also for 1M$. First applications will probably be in the finance industry on Wall Street. They have the money to develop that kind of software like they have done in the past with other systems. Currencies market is one of the more challenging and risky one and as led to major developments in the recent past.
Call center and help desk would also be a nice application; no more waiting time. Such a computer would probably able to handle hundreds of calls simultaneously.

Some videos on the future of Watson are available on youtube http://www.youtube.com/ibm#p/c/4F1C783776E708A8/17/dQmuETLeQcg
 

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This is not a show I watch so I do not know if CBC's Jeopardy is a rebroadcast of the american show.
According to an ad I saw while watching the news last night, this will be on the CBC this week. There's also a Nova about it on Wed., at leasted on WNED Buffalo.
 

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It is on Monday till Wednesday this week. Looking forward to see if someone will kick the machines' boot!
 

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I couldn't find the Nova Program about Watson last week - it was scheduled to broadcast 10pm EST on PBS, but my affiliate broadcast a program about NASA instead (there was supposed to be a 'triple-header' broadcast last Wednesday, but only the first two programs were shown).

Just to clarify, there there was also a short segment about Watson on Nova Sciencenow, but not the full-length Nova feature; it may be on this Wednesday.

As far as the Jeopardy contest itself, my understanding is that the 'answers' are fed to Watson via text at the same time the host reads it out to the human contestants. I'm not sure exactly what the timing is, but I'm thinking this format might give the machine an advantage, as it can obviously 'read' the text in milliseconds, whereas it will take mr. Trebek several seconds to read it. The reason behind this was that this essentially counts as Watson's thinking time, as the human contestants would have essentially figured out the answer already by the time the question was finished being read.
 

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^^^^
Since you're also in Mississauga, you should be watching it on WNED, which has it this Wednesday at 9 PM. It's also on Thursday at 11:30 PM.
 

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Jeopardy - Man vs Man vs Machine - This Week

For those who aren't aware of it yet, this week on Jeopardy, it's a battle between the game's two best players in history, and an IBM computer system named Watson.

IBM has actually programmed a computer (or computers) to play the game "Jeopardy" against human opponents, following the same rules as everyone else. The system has to analyze the answer and search its massive daily updated database to find the most plausible question not only within the allotted time, but also before any other opponent buzzes in first.

So are there any other techno-geeks out there who are rooting for the machine just as long as it doesn't try to wipe out humanity in the process? :)
 

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Just like when IBM went against Kasperov with chess, I hope humans beat the machine. I love technology but don't want humans to be totally displaced y machines...

I'm really looking forward to tonight.

Does anyone know if the cop from New York will be on there?
 

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It will be Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter against Watson. Ken won the most games in a row, 74, but was defeated on his 75th try. Brad has won the most money and is undefeated on Jeopardy. Ken has won the second most money and lost to Brad in the finals of the Jeopardy Ultimate Tournament in May 2005.

I just watched the Nova show about Watson last night, and found out that Watson can't "hear" so he has to "read" the questions in text form. He also is texted what each contestant says in real time, so he knows to not give the same wrong answer as his human counterparts.

He also can "learn" if he doesn't at first understand how a certain category works. The learning comes from "hearing" the correct answer and figuring out why his answer is wrong in that category. He then makes up new rules that allow him to get the right answer.

Watson took over 4 years and millions of dollars to "perfect". Let the games begin!
 

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Man that game was full of surprises! And it's nice that they showed Watson's guess gauge. It was very close in many answers, but was sometimes way off in others.

And yes, it did "understand" the categories during play, more specifically the decades category where it initially thought it had to give a specific year.

The best part was seeing the audience full of IBM geeks sweating it off like crazy! But whatever happens, they should be incredibly proud of their accomplishments. They might think they're not at Star Trek computer levels yet, but they're pretty damn close! Throw in some decent speech recognition software, and this thing could theoretically follow verbal instructions.

Plenty of potential here.
 

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Well so far, it's a tie between Brad and Watson. I don't like the fact that Watson reads the question before the other two has a chance to hear the end of it. It should've been speech recognition or something. Then it is fair for the humans...
 

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It has one major disadvantage...it doesn't hear what's going on around him. At one time Ken gave the wrong answer, and when Watson buzzed in, it gave the same incorrect answer as Ken.
 

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It is fed the answers from the other participants... I guess he answered before they could input Ken's incorrect answer.
 
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