Do you remember the excitement when Watson was pitted against two human opponents on ‘Jeopardy!’ and won?  There’s no doubt that Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter played well, but in the end the machine prevailed.

Well, a panel discussion on Watson has been scheduled as part of the Trivia Championships of North America (TCONA). Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter are slated to describe their strategy against the machine, and IBM researcher Dr. Gerald Tesauro will talk about how the Watson system was taught to play the game, at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The strategy session will cover a variety of topics including the evolution of the abilities of the computer along with the planning that led up to the grand challenge. The panel will be moderated by Ed Toutant, a former IBM employee and ‘Jeopardy!’ champion, who in 2001 became a top prize winner on ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.’

A special opportunity is planned for TCONA participants who have not previously appeared on ‘Jeopardy!’ Attendees can take the official qualification test for the show, and top scorers will be invited to follow-up auditions during the weekend.

Ken Jennings is a ‘Jeopardy!’ champion who won 74 games in a row in 2004 and is the author of ‘Brainiac,’ ‘The Trivia Almanac: 8888 Questions in 365 Days,’ and the upcoming ‘Maphead.’

Brad Rutter won three ‘Jeopardy!’ invitational events: the 2001 Tournament of Champions, the 2002 Million Dollar Masters Tournament and the 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions. Brad is now an actor and television host.

Dr. Gerald Tesauro is a renowned IBM researcher in the fields of machine learning and computer games. He devised the advanced mathematical models used in Watson’s wagering, clue selection and buzz-in algorithms.

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