Do machines have what it takes to live independently from humans? Can they think and reason as well as we can? Should they one day be considered members of society? Movies such as ‘Terminator,’ ‘Bicentennial Man’ and ‘I Robot’ have depicted robots interacting and competing with people – and in rare cases even trying to kill them. And while these are all fictitious representations of people and robots contending with each other, what’s been happening this week on Jeopardy has left many questioning if this is will actually be a possibility in the future.
Watson, the now famous IBM supercomputer has taken the lead in the ‘Man vs. Machine: Jeopardy!’ competition which began Tuesday night. The “Battle of the Minds” competition is a two day event, with the final rounds airing tonight. The two human contenders are Jeopardy’s greatest champions of all time, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, who are not faring as well playing against Watson as they have done with other contestants.
But even with Watson’s almost limitless knowledge and strong processing speeds, there were still questions that stumped even this electronic genius. Perhaps this is the perfect demonstration of how what is created can only be as perfect as its creators; and an even better example of how no human knows everything.
The ‘Jeopardy!’ competitors will return to the game tonight to continue their battle. The final winner will receive $1 million, the runner up $300,000, and the third place contestant will receive $200,000. Both Jennings and Rutter are donating 50% of their winnings to charity, and Watson is donating 100% of his winnings.
Check your local listings for show times in your area.