If you’re anything like many Americans, Jeopardy probably isn’t the top of your “Must See TV” list. However, you should change that tonight. Tonight (Monday, February 14th), Jeopardy will air their most unique match every; two of the top Jeopardy champions of all time versus IBM’s new supercomputer, “Watson”.
While a computer going against a human may not sound like big news, this time it is. See, Watson isn’t just a glorified Google search; it actively waits for questions (or in this case, answers) and returns an appropriate response to it. Watson will not know the questions beforehand, and is not connected to any external data source. And while some games like chess or checkers are linear with actual algorithmic patterns, Jeopardy uses a lot more wordplay.
For example (a standard query vs an actual Jeopardy question):
Who was the ruler of Rome from 49 BC to 44 BC? Julius Caesar
Which Roman ruler is served with croutons and parmesan cheese? Julius Caesar Salad
In any case, tonights match should be interesting to watch. It will also be a good indicator on whether the machines are ready to rise against us or not. 🙁