Watson creams Jennings and Rutter in second day of Jeopardy!

Yes, the title is a bit strong, but there is no gentle way to say it: Jeopardy! champs Jennings and Rutter were destroyed by the IBM “Watson” computer system in today’s “Double Jeopardy” round. When the final totals were tallied after the “Final Jeopardy” question, Watson had $35,734, versus $10,400 for Brad Rutter and $4,800 for Ken Jennings.

Watson clearly established its dominance by being first to ring in on 25 of 30 answers in the Double Jeopardy round, and in getting 24 of the 25 correct. It now has a commanding lead as the contestants head to Wednesday’s final round.

The only redeeming moment for the human contestants in Tuesday’s match was the Final Jeopardy question. In the category “US Cities,” the clue was “Its largest airport was named for a World War II hero; its second largest, for a World War II battle.” Both Jennings and Rutter correctly wrote on their tablets “What is Chicago?”, but Watson stumbled with “What is Toronto?????”, recognizing that this was unlikely to be a correct answer. Perhaps sensing that it might not do well in this category, and recognizing that it did not need to make a significant bet in order to be champ for the day, Watson only bet $947, so it didn’t lose much in the process.

Some additional details of Tuesday’s round are summarized in this article from the Wired website: Wired article.

The final round will be telecast Wednesday night in North America. Jeopardy! is not affiliated with any major broadcast or cable network, so check local listings.

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