CMU-IBM Super Computer Beats Humans On ‘Jeopardy’

By Stephanie Watson

OAKLAND (KDKA) — It was man versus machine during a viewing of the final “Jeopardy” battle between IBM super computer Watson and its flesh and blood rivals at the Rashid Auditorium on the CMU campus Wednesday night.

More importantly, these fellow students gathered to celebrate this historic moment with Professor Eric Nyberg and his team, graduate students Nico Schlaefer and Hideki Shima who worked with IBM on the development of Watson.

“Watson can now understand human language – that’s the big impact that it has,” Hideki Shima, PhD, of computer science, said.

Professor Nyberg says this Q&A technology goes beyond Watson’s newly-found game show fame.

“We’re already working on applying this to health care, providing information services for doctors and we’re excited because the ‘Jeopardy’ performance win or lose really proves that we’re ready for primetime and we’re here to stay,” Nyberg said.

Nico Schlaefer admits Watson may be smart, but not perfect.

“It would fail at the simplest everyday tasks,” he said. “When you watch this game show, the other contestants have an interesting conversation with the host Alex Trebek. I think this is something where Watson fails miserably.”

In the end, the computer reigned supreme! But fear not, this doesn’t mean the end of humanity is near.

“Watson’s not even smart enough to act on his own because he still has a few sort of crazy ideas about the world,” Nyberg said. “I don’t think we’re gonna give the launch codes to anybody that thinks grasshoppers eat Kosher for example.”

The $1 million jackpot that Watson won will be split evenly among two charities – World Vision and the World Community Grid.


One Comment

  1. Sxott says:

    Not exactly skynet or hal 9000. maybe along the lines of a c-3po or twinkie from buck rodgers.

    he kicked the 2 humans butts but me sitting at home did better then either of them. i also was able to answer before watson could ring in a lot of the time. leads me to wonder, where jennings and the other guy choking under pressure? maybe the computer still wins but they could have put up a better effort.

    and when watson missed questions he failed epically….he repeated jennings wrong answer about the ‘1920’s’ and answered a question about ‘u.s’ cities’ in final jepopardy with ‘toronto’

    if he’s a ‘super computer’ i dont think we have to worry.

    1. Jay says:

      Interesting, first no one can buzz until Alex finishes reading the answer. Second, if you did better that everyone else, then you should be on the show. Third, Watson cannot see or hear, and has no idea when a wrong answer is given.
      The only info he has is the question. That explains giving the same incorrect answer. As for the US City I will give you that one.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Play It
Get The All New CBS Local App

Listen Live