Jeopardy! and Artificial Intelligence
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February 15, 2011, 02:45 PM
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Colby Cosh writes:
Having lived through the hype over IBM`s 1997 Deep Blue challenge to human chessplayers, I find myself intensely irritated at IBM`s 2011 assault on Jeopardy! ...
Jeopardy!, after all, doesn`t demand that much in the way of language interpretation. Watson has to, at most, interpret text questions of no more than 25 or 30 words-questions which, by design, have only a single answer. It handles puns and figures of speech impressively, for a computer. But it doesn`t do so in anything like the way humans do. IBM`s ads would have you believe the opposite, but it bears emphasizing that Watson is not "getting" the jokes and wordplay of the Jeopardy! writers. It`s using Bayesian math on the fly to pick out key nouns and phrases and pass them to a lookup table. If it sees "1564� and "Pisa", it`s going to say "Galileo".