IBM's Watson victorious in Jeopardy; Our new computer overlord?

Summary:Ken Jennings foreshadowed the inevitable with his final Jeopardy answer. The answer: Bram Stoker. The subtext: "I for one welcome our new computer overlords."

IBM's Watson computer ultimately proved to be too much for the humans in Jeopardy.

Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, two of the most successful players in Jeopardy, put up a spirited fight, but ultimately couldn't hang. Jennings foreshadowed the inevitable with his final Jeopardy answer. The answer: Bram Stoker. The subtext: "I for one welcome our new computer overlords."

The two day totals highlighted the extent of the victory for Watson.

  • IBM's Watson had $77,147 at the end of two days.
  • Jennings had $24,000.
  • Rutter rounded out the festivities with $21,600.

Heading into the final Jeopardy round it appeared that Jennings had some momentum. But then Watson won a flurry of questions that appeared to suck the momentum out of Jennings.

The final Jeopardy category was 19th century novelists.

And the answer: William Wilkinson's "An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia" inspired this author's most famous novel.

The question---all three contestants got right---was Who is Bram Stoker? The ever-precise Watson wagered $17,973.

In the end, Watson was a natural on Jeopardy. It was even likeable with his quirks---very precise wagers and a robotic voice. If Watson is ultimately our computer overlord he at least seems jovial.

Related: IBM's Watson wins Jeopardy practice round: Can humans hang?

Topics: IBM, CXO, Hardware

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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