Why HAL9000 Beat Ken Jennings Like A Rented Mule:

Lisa de Moraes wrote in the Washington Post about the Jeopardy! match between former champions Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, and an IBM computer called Watson. Watson won handily, demonstrating advances in programming and machine intelligence unimaginable only a few years ago. Watson was able to collate and correlate chunks of information not necessarily directly related - what programmers call "unstructured data" - to understand plain-English questions and answer them. Until Watson, you couldn't ask a computer "who's the American icon who supposedly had wooden teeth?" and have it tell you 'Thomas Jefferson.' Kidding! See what I did there?

Everyone is suitably impressed. Well, mostly everyone - commenter sjcsando wrote:

Of course Watson will beat the humans. He's programmed to respond or "buzz in" faster than a human. IBM needs to reprogram him so that his response times are on equal footing with his human competitors.

Reprogramming Watson might be a little drastic - let's start with reprogramming sjcsando to help him be able to not miss the entire point of the exercise first. If that doesn't work, then we can reprogram Watson. Hell, let's put the boots to him, get out the pitchforks, or BURN IT WITH FIRE!

And once we've taught Watson a lesson about being too smart for his own good, we'll have Ken and Brad face off against my old Aptiva 486 while sjcsando matches wits with a couple of vacuum tubes, a battery and a small light.

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