Tonight was the third episode of Watson the computer on Jeopardy!, which featured the full second match of Watson against Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. This match’s scores were added to the scores of the last match to determine the prize winners. Watson had a huge lead thanks to his performance in the first match, but the second match was anyone’s game.
You can view tonight’s questions here. Now on to tonight’s commentary.
If the robot uprising happens, Ken Jennings may be our only hope. He had a healthy lead on Watson at the end of the first round, but as we all know, Watson has a way of catching up. Some of the categories were very unfriendly to Watson thanks to his difficulties with processing the categories. One such category was “Also on your computer keys”, where the answer was (you guessed it) a key on your keyboard. Ken and Brad took this category, and I knew all of them except the one about race cars. Watson did know about “United Breaks Guitars”, though, which amused me and has a Wikipedia article.
Sure enough, Watson caught up in the second round and led Ken by Final Jeopardy!, but only by a few thousand dollars. He got both Daily Doubles in Double Jeopardy! and missed the one about The Elements of Style. This is my favorite grammar reference, so naturally Watson’s non-knowledge of this question saddened me. There’s still hope.
All three of them got the final question correct. Ken wrote under his question “I for one welcome our new computer overlords”. Oh Ken. You’re wonderful.
The match ended with Watson in first, Ken in second, and Brad in third, and the cumulative score was the same. Congratulations, Ken, you finally beat Brad. I also welcome our new computer overlords, but I also welcome Ken’s attempts to save us from them.
This may be the end of Watson for Jeopardy!, but this isn’t the end of Watson for good. I can’t wait to see what his technologies do next.