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WEEKLY WHINE

Surprise me, Watson

One of the most interesting competitions in nonhuman history begins today. The US edition of Jeopardy! will pit two humans against a computer. Of course, it is not just any computer, and they are not just any humans.

Watson is the latest step on the path toward artificial intelligence, developed by IBM to be able to understand and respond to questions in natural language. Ken Jennings is the latest step on the path toward human intelligence, having won 74 consecutive games on Jeopardy! for a total of more than US$2,500,000. Brad Rutter is the latest step on the path toward world domination by Lancaster, PA, USA, having won two special tournaments – including one against Ken – to amass a total of more than US$3,000,000.

So how will Watson do in the two matches against Ken and Brad? Of course, much depends on the categories that come up. Selecting from those that appeared last season, here are some categories that we believe will be right up Watson’s circuitry and some that we believe will give it exceptions.

CATEGORIES FAVOURING WATSON

  • ENGINEERING
  • CYBERIA
  • HARDWARE
  • SOFTWARE
  • SPAT THA PROPERLY SPELD WURD
  • GETTING SHIFT-Y WITH YOUR KEYBOARD
  • COMPUTER ABBREV.
  • THE QUOTABLE EINSTEIN
  • CLASSIC VIDEO GAMES
  • ON THE WEBSITE’S FRONT PAGE
  • IN MY NETFLIX QUEUE
  • HUBBLE, HUBBLE, TOIL & TROUBLE
  • WORDS ON THE QWERTY ROW
  • SPELL CHECK HELL
  • MR. & MS. ROBOTO
  • I’M SORRY, DAVE

CATEGORIES FAVOURING HUMANS

  • SOUNDS ROMANTIC
  • CLASSIC ADS & JINGLES
  • REALITY SHOW RUNNERS-UP
  • HOPE
  • BASEBRAWL
  • MADDEN-LESS NFL 09
  • HISTORY OF DRINK
  • 40 YEARS OF SESAME STREET
  • MEDICAL MATTERS
  • CALLIGRAPHY
  • I’M GETTING TOO OLD FOR THIS STUFF
  • IT’S IN MY COFFEE
  • WORLD OF GESTURES
  • I’M FEELIN’ HAPPY!
  • HAND ME A BOTTLE
  • JEOPARDY! DRINKING GAMES

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