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[NPR]Man vs. Machine: IBM supercomputer "Watson" vs Jeopardy! champions - Page 5

post #41 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muftobration View Post
To answer the question about buzzing: I attended a showing of the first episode tonight. Several members of the design team for Watson are alumni of my university (RPI) and a couple were present to talk about Watson before and during the showing (during commercial breaks).

Chris Welty told us that after Trebek finishes reading the question/"answer," one of the show's staff members presses a button that simultaneously allows buzzing to begin and shines a light so that the three contestants know they can start pressing. Watson is designed to wait for the light before pressing, but Chris explained that some contestants - Brad, in particular - are extremely good buzzers and will anticipate the precise moment the staff person presses the button rather than waiting for the light to shine (there is about a .25 second delay between seeing something and reacting to it for humans). An example of this was the very first question, for which Watson had the right answer, but Brad buzzed in first.
Quoting this because apparently the last few posters to the thread cannot/did not read the entire thread before posting.

Also, DO WANT. I would LOVE to have a version of Watson at my house so I could talk to my computer when I got home from work if my girlfriend isn't around :3
     
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post #42 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by nist7 View Post
But what if Ken Jennings had an unusually fast reaction time? Do we somehow handicap him too to "average human reaction time?"

Each contestant has their own advantages and disadvantages. In cases where it seems both the computer and Jennings knew the answer, the computer had the advantage of faster reaction time.

But yes if we eliminated the time component to Jeopardy! it would be interesting. But I think Watson will basically win out since it has like a bazillion pieces of information it can search through.

Also Jeopardy! does not test intelligence as a whole. It seems to me it only tests factual recall, mostly. Overall, we humans are way way WAY more intelligent than "Watson." After all, we are the ones who created him.
I believe it could be calculated on much time it takes for the brain to send the signal to the hand to press the button, and how long it takes for that signal to cause the finger to press it. It's probably already known by scientists.

It depends on the goal of this experiment. In my opinion the goal here was to show if a computer could outsmart humans with the answers given during Jeopardy. However, if the goal was simply who can win at Jeopardy, then I guess part of that is who (or what) can press the trigger faster.
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post #43 of 86
Yeah this does not excite me in the least.All this comes down to what info has been programmed into Watson ahead of time,and they have had a long time testing it.It also means the longer it plays,the better it gets.Publicity stunt.
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post #44 of 86
should that thing be folding instead of playing a stupid game?
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post #45 of 86
MAN the Harry Potter spoiler hit hard......

I'm 3/4 through the 6th book and this just answered a few pertinent questions...............

On topic.

The computer hardware's speed and resources arent the achievement here, its what was learned about human comprehension and throught process that makes this worth it.
Edited by SyncMaster753 - 2/15/11 at 10:58am
    
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post #46 of 86
This is MUCH more then a simple game. It's a research project into computer linguistics. It was not told what words mean. It draws conclusions based on a massive database of written works and "learned" what English words mean and in what context.

This will be like the historic chess match where a computer beat a grand master. Today, chess software can be found packaged on most computers or downloaded free online. I imagine in 15 years we will have a similar system to Watson in our homes or on our computers that can answer almost any question with a traditional answer (No philosophical stuff).
Edited by Dronac - 2/15/11 at 11:32am
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post #47 of 86
Now if they can just team up with the guys behind Wolfram Alpha, I'd be happy...
post #48 of 86
Waste of money in hopes of bringing viewer-ship to Jeopardy I think so...
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post #49 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimplyTheBest View Post
Waste of money in hopes of bringing viewer-ship to Jeopardy I think so...
If you watched the Nova episode with Watson in it you'd understand that it's a little more than just a publicity stunt. Yes they're probably getting some money by doing this but every research idea needs funding.

It's interesting to see how much better Watson is compared to what they had shown in the Nova episode. He won there but definitely had some glitches.
     
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post #50 of 86
I wonder what type of "learning" they used. It seems like a neural network, in which case the more games Watson has played the better he would be. Which leads to an underlying fault with the system.

Any time the system would need to be employed for a different use, it would have to retrain in the field for which it is intended. For example, if they wanted to use Watson to diagnose illness in real-time for doctors, it would need a substantial training time and reconfiguring to improve accuracy. It would not be as simple as loading a billion medical texts into it's database and sending it on its way.

However, IBM is a lot smarter than I am, and they may train it a different way, but I just can't believe that Watson has a true grasp of linguistics that can translate to any field.

I can see how they would train Watson to answer Jeopardy questions. A clue is "read" and Watson has to figure out whether it's a pun or song lyric or date, etc..., and determine what the question is actually asking and then reference the words and come up with the best answer in context. While this may be great for Jeopardy clues, it does not mean that the type of linguistics Watson has learned will translate to other fields.

I do agree that this is a major step in computing and it is fascinating to see what computer are capable of. In my opinion, this is far more impressive than IBM's chess grandmaster crushing computer as all that had to do was permute an absurd number of moves and determine the best option.

A question for more hardware savvy people. For practical applications where the responses do not have to be quite so instantaneous, what kind of size can the hardware be cut down to? Are all the server racks necessary for computation or is it mostly data storage?
Edited by barrpet - 2/16/11 at 8:39am
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