Anyone catch round one of Watson vs. the past Jeopardy contestants last night?  Don’t give me that bull crap that it was Valentines Day and you were busy.

I did happen to catch the show via DVR and I was rather impressed.  After the initial break down by Alex Trebek on how the game was going to operate, I was very anxious to see how the game would progress.  Basically, each time a clue was given, Watson received it as a text file, which it analyzed in mere seconds and then they showed three possible guesses that Watson had and how confident Watson was on the correct answer.  If the level of confidence was high enough, Watson would attempt to ring in.   Let me tell you, Watson is scary fast.

One thing I noticed is that when Watson had control of the board, it was much more random in its choices of clues in categories.  Normally you see human contestants work their way down a column, while Watson kind of jumped all over the board.  Watson did well on clues that asked it to analyze and compare the clue to data.  In a literary category it did very well, as well as doing very well in Beatles song references.  It had its most trouble with figuring out the decade of some events occurred.  Only a few times was it really off base on its responses.  It either buzzed in and got it right, or was beat out by the contestants on the buzzer.

Speaking of the buzzer, you could almost tell that the human contestants were a little frustrated at first with the speed of the computer.  Especially the way that Watson put up a big lead right away.  But they quickly got that down and the round became a bit more even.

At the end of round one, the score was Watson $5,000, Brad Rutter $5,000, and Ken Jennings $2,000.  Stay tuned tomorrow for more breakdown.

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