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Old 02-15-2011, 07:57 PM   #21
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Yes, and it's not exactly an "error". AI is often construed as an enterprise to understand human intelligence, so when the machine makes exactly the same error as the human, that's a triumph. It shows that the machine reasons like the human.

I agree. I often find myself thinking the same incorrect answer as a contestant. Jeopardy questions are deliberately tricky.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:15 PM   #22
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I just watched Watson on Jeopardy, my god it killed Jennings and Brad's clock.

Only to blow it big time on a pretty easy final Jeopardy question.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:23 PM   #23
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There is a red light behind Alex that turns of when he has finished reading the question. At the point you can buzz in, if you do so before the light goes off you are penalized.
Thanks, I recall trying to find that out a while back (probably when Ken Jennings was on his streak), and I never found anything specific.


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I find it slightly strange to see a comment "Says something about the programmers". Are you seriously imagining that they overlooked this? We're dealing here with some of the finest minds in artificial intelligence, with a very large budget. This is not just a bunch of college freshmen on a 100-line Pascal assignment.
I was assuming someone could text Watson the answers 'responses' from the other contestants - why not? If he's getting the text of the 'clue', why not the 'responses'? It is totally do-able, and it would add value. Edison famously knew the value of mistakes (" I've found 10,000 ways that don't work"). Why wouldn't they do this? What's wrong about thinking they should?

Of course the programmers are brilliant. I didn't mean to imply they weren't. What I was wondering was, were they too 'cocky' to think they would need this input from the others? That could say something about them.


Now I'm curious as to the timing of this text of the clue. It doesn't seem fair to send it all at once at the start, of course a computer can 'read' (but not comprehend) the words almost instantaneously. Sure, the humans see the words all at once (and I assume they ignore the spoken words), but it takes some time to read them, and then comprehend them. Maybe they should text the words at the rate of human reading? Maybe they do?

Voice recognition at this speed would be the next very impressive step. I saw the show today, and Watson was amazing. Interesting that he missed the one about the period of art the stolen paintings were from - that really was a very twisted wording - plenty of ways to misinterpret and think of the museum name, or the artist (which is what Watson did), or something. Was surprised it missed the missing art from Baghdad though - I recall reading about that, and the clue was fairly straight wording.

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I just watched Watson on Jeopardy, my god it killed Jennings and Brad's clock.

Only to blow it big time on a pretty easy final Jeopardy question.
Heh, heh - I missed it too, and I'll blame it on being from Chicago-land. I kept thinking "Orchard Airport" (the original name and source of the ORD assignment). Couldn't think of any WWII heroes named "Orchard", so I moved on to Milwaukee, pretty sure that Mitchell was a WWII guy (ooops, wrong again - WWI). One of the reasons you've never seen me on Jeopardy!

-ERD50
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:32 PM   #24
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Heh, heh - I missed it too, and I'll blame it on being from Chicago-land. I kept thinking "Orchard Airport" (the original name and source of the ORD assignment). Couldn't think of any WWII heroes named "Orchard", so I moved on to Milwaukee, pretty sure that Mitchell was a WWII guy (ooops, wrong again - WWI). One of the reasons you've never seen me on Jeopardy!

-ERD50
Hey I got it immediately O'Hare and Midway. I always wondered about the destination. NYC was possibility since JFK was WWII hero (before a president) but LaGuardia is just a mayor.

Reading the IBM blog I guess Watson didn't understand that Toronto isn't a USA city.
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:17 PM   #25
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One more Watson thing if you haven't read Ken Jenning's blog on the Washington Post.
Do so it is laugh out loud funny.

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Q.
The crowd
Was there anybody in the crowd cheering for you or were they all Watson supporters?

A.
Ken Jennings :
It was an all-IBM crowd: programmers, executives. Stockholders all! They wanted human blood. It was gladiatorial out there. The stage had a big Watson logo on it too. This was definitely an away game for humanity.

Q.
Admin note
Can the Washington Post software engineers reverse this so we readers provide the answers and Jennings provides the questions? It seems appropriate.
A.
Ken Jennings :
What is "Congratulations, you could be a drive time DJ!" Every radio personality in America has had this idea every time they try to interview me. In practice, it doesn't work so hot.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:19 AM   #26
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I just watched Watson on Jeopardy, my god it killed Jennings and Brad's clock.

Only to blow it big time on a pretty easy final Jeopardy question.
I watched the second episode yesterday, and Watson did blow away the competition (only to blow an easy final Jeopardy question - wonder how that happened?).

But IMO what yesterday (and the first episode) showed is not that Watson is "smarter" or better at Jeopardy than a human, it showed that Watson has an edge on the buzzer somehow. You could just tell the two human champs knew many if not all the answers that Watson got, Watson was consistently just quicker to the buzzer.

So IMO this has unfortunately devolved into something other than a display of human intelligence vs AI - it's a show of buzzer mechanics. What was intriguing going in, has now sadly become (more of) a sideshow IMO...
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:51 AM   #27
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Yes, and it's not exactly an "error". AI is often construed as an enterprise to understand human intelligence, so when the machine makes exactly the same error as the human, that's a triumph. It shows that the machine reasons like the human.
Exactly and I think people are missing this point. Reasoning with context. A knowledge based system reasoning against the two top champs, each of whom has shown the broadest range together with a very high percentage of correct answers.

More useful but less interesting contests would AI diagnoses compared with medical doctor, AI conducts an audit vs an auditor, etc. Imagine the productivity gains. The possibilities are immense.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:31 AM   #28
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I'd like to see IBM take on the challenge of having Watson see, hear and interpret the clue as it is given verbally and visually. This is what the humans have to do, so it would be a fairer test.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:51 AM   #29
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Yes, and it's not exactly an "error". AI is often construed as an enterprise to understand human intelligence, so when the machine makes exactly the same error as the human, that's a triumph. It shows that the machine reasons like the human.
And that's a good thing?
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:27 AM   #30
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One more Watson thing if you haven't read Ken Jenning's blog on the Washington Post.
Do so it is laugh out loud funny.
Thanks - that was great! Based on that, I'm definitely going to read his books. It's cool that he isn't just an auto-answer robotic type, but actually has a great personality and funny bone.

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I watched the second episode yesterday, and Watson did blow away the competition (only to blow an easy final Jeopardy question - wonder how that happened?).

But IMO what yesterday (and the first episode) showed is not that Watson is "smarter" or better at Jeopardy than a human, it showed that Watson has an edge on the buzzer somehow. ...

So IMO this has unfortunately devolved into something other than a display of human intelligence vs AI - it's a show of buzzer mechanics. What was intriguing going in, has now sadly become (more of) a sideshow IMO...
One of the blogs that clifp listed explained the final round problem - they programmed Watson to lightly weight the categories,. I didn't notice was Chicago a #2 pick for 'him'?

Yes, the whole buzzer thing is kinda distracting here. I thought today - it isn't really important if Watson is a fraction of a second slower or quicker than a human, the real value is can he be reasonably fast for the situation at hand. That might be a second or two - that could still be pretty normal conversation speed; to ten seconds if you just need an answer 'while you wait' ( compared to real life - OK, I've got that information in this pamphlet over here,- ahh, here it is...); to a minute or two (real life: let me put you on hold); to overnight (let me get back to you on that).

Now I'm curious how Watson could perform with more normal computing power that a Customer Service dept of a large company might be able to afford - It would need the language deciphering part (maybe that could be sent to a central server), but a company would need far less data in its database than what it takes to handle random game show questions.

As far as this becoming a sideshow - yes, but I bet the IBM people are thrilled with that. It's just want they want. This gets attention they couldn't buy any other way. They know it's a gimmick, they'll milk it for all it's worth and learn from it what they can and throw away the rest as the 'cost of doing business'. I think it was a brilliant sideshow. Doing additional rounds would be a bit silly, but maybe with the voice recognition as others have said - that would be good to see.

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More useful but less interesting contests would AI diagnoses compared with medical doctor, AI conducts an audit vs an auditor, etc. Imagine the productivity gains. The possibilities are immense.
Yes - in this case it's coming up with what are largely single answers to searches. I would think a computer would really be powerful in calculating more complex things, once it 'understands' the question. Medical diagnoses were mentioned in the show, and I would think a computer could weigh all the inputs and pull in knowledge bases and make suggestions based on that far better than any human.

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I'd like to see IBM take on the challenge of having Watson see, hear and interpret the clue as it is given verbally and visually. This is what the humans have to do, so it would be a fairer test.
+1


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. It shows that the machine reasons like the human.
And that's a good thing?
Heh-heh. I recall when computers were far less powerful, and there was all this 'fuzzy logic' and AI buzz. I always thought - computers are really good at doing some things so much better than humans ( calculations, dealing with large amounts of info, etc), why not use them for what they do best, and use humans for what they do best?

Of course now, with all that past work and todays computer power, this AI stuff is getting seriously good.

-ERD50
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:23 AM   #31
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I'd like to see IBM take on the challenge of having Watson see, hear and interpret the clue as it is given verbally and visually. This is what the humans have to do, so it would be a fairer test.
The humans will be able to win that way for a long time, just because to program the tasks, we'll need to understand more about how we perform them ourselves.

I think it's fun watching "How it's Made" on the Science Channel to try to figure out, when there are just a few humans interspersed among a bunch of automated devices, what it is about the specific task that needed a human to do it rather than a robot.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:09 PM   #32
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Might not make for interesting TV, but I'd like to see the results with buzzer speed taken out of it. Take all three "players" separately, give them each all the questions, see how many total they could get right given maybe a few seconds to get their answer out. Seems clear that Watson would score high ... could either of the others score as high or higher?
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:00 PM   #33
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I think it was ERD50 who said that this could be really useful in medical diagnosis. Totally agree. 100 human doctors given the same patient will come up with 101 diagnoses and 102 ways to treat the patient. There have already been studies and commercial applications that use DSS (decision support systems) to improve clinical management based on the best current evidence. Unfortunately there are both economic and cultural reasons why they have not had more acceptance so far. Doctors tend to get a bit upset if they are expected to do the rectal exam but not get any glory for thinking the problem through.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:02 PM   #34
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Might not make for interesting TV, but I'd like to see the results with buzzer speed taken out of it. Take all three "players" separately, give them each all the questions, see how many total they could get right given maybe a few seconds to get their answer out. Seems clear that Watson would score high ... could either of the others score as high or higher?
Jenning's has said that good Jeopardy players know between 25-26 out of 30 answers and the buzzer is the difference. During his run Jenning thought it was unfair that had so much practice so he requested that challengers get more practice using the buzzer (good sport that guy). The precision of the computer ringing the buzzer is clearly the difference in this match according to Jennings.

In yesterdays match they questions seemed harder than normal. I am curious how they would have perform if it was strictly a knowledge test where each participant was given 5 to 10 seconds to answer the question.
My guess is Watson would have won getting either 27 or 28 questions right, and the two humans would have been a question or two behind.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:21 PM   #35
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I think it was ERD50 who said that this could be really useful in medical diagnosis. Totally agree. 100 human doctors given the same patient will come up with 101 diagnoses and 102 ways to treat the patient. There have already been studies and commercial applications that use DSS (decision support systems) to improve clinical management based on the best current evidence. Unfortunately there are both economic and cultural reasons why they have not had more acceptance so far. Doctors tend to get a bit upset if they are expected to do the rectal exam but not get any glory for thinking the problem through.
My one and only AI course was taken exactly 30 years ago. At the time one of the big future applications of AI was in medical diagnostics... So much and so little has changed.

The natural language 'understanding' is very impressive. I do think that customer support is very logical next step. Frankly it is easier to understand Watson than many support people from India and a good speech recognition program is also often superior communicating with somebody in a different country.


I thought the reason we pay doctors the big bucks is because they have to do rectal exams, and put up with crotchety sick people.
It seems to me that liabilities of making a wrong diagnosis of why Windows crashes are much less than missing a tumor or something.

Personally, I am looking forward to Holographic medical doctor like in Star Trek:Voyager. Especially if I can have the option of a hot blond instead of this guy.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:56 PM   #36
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I really don't like Watson, Jennings is too gracious.
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:35 AM   #37
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@grumpy

Making Watson read the clue like a human is a little silly and wouldn't really be that hard. It would require giving him a video camera that's just pointed at where the text-clues show up, then running optical character recognition (OCR) software to turn the visual image of the text into plain text.

It's pretty simple to do. Spammers do it all the time. That's why when you login or try to post on some sites you have to spend 3 minutes trying to figure out what all all that ciphered wobbly text in a "captcha" is actually saying. That's to trick computers, if it were plain-text (like on jeopardy) it would be a cinch to automate the reading and create spam.

I don't really see the point in jumping through those hoops, it achieves nothing, sending him an electronic version of the text of the question is much simpler.

It's about artificial intelligence, not building a robot to take the place of a human player.
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:52 AM   #38
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I missed the first two because I didn't watch the Tivo'd NOVA episode until after they had aired. Anyone found a source for online viewing?

In the NOVA episode, he'd given the same wrong answer because he wasn't fed the answers given by the other competitors. But they said they'd fixed that. Did he ever give the same wrong answer during the actual show?

Concerning the buzzer issue -- you have to figure out whether Watson is faster because of purely mechanical reasons, or because he comes up with the answer faster. If the latter, then it's a valid advantage.

I agree with Glippy that having Watson understand the speech or read the clue would be the easy part.

This is one of the most impressive computer feats I've seen. Too bad Watson didn't lose so that we could have rematches. It was fun to see Watson's list of top three answers -- just like my favorite scene from Terminator (not suitable for work).

YouTube .com/watch?v=AeV-DI09Q3w
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:40 AM   #39
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Might not make for interesting TV, but I'd like to see the results with buzzer speed taken out of it. Take all three "players" separately, give them each all the questions, see how many total they could get right given maybe a few seconds to get their answer out. Seems clear that Watson would score high ... could either of the others score as high or higher?
I agree that the "buzzer factor" effectively killed the competitive aspect of the game. I was thinking that the computer should have signaled a human that it was prepared to buzz in (maybe show a green light) and then the human would be competing for the buzz-in with the other two living contestants. I pretty much lost interest although I usually enjoy Jeopardy.
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:44 PM   #40
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Concerning the buzzer issue -- you have to figure out whether Watson is faster because of purely mechanical reasons, or because he comes up with the answer faster. If the latter, then it's a valid advantage.
It could be an advantage for Watson either way. Consider this scenario:

1) It takes Alex 3 seconds to read the clue and clear the buzzers.

2) It takes the two humans 2.5 seconds to read the clue and form a response in their head.

3) It takes Watson 2.99 seconds to form a response.

4) At the 3.00 second mark, Watson buzzes in with machine precision, and beats out the humans even though they had the answer faster than the computer.

Who can say what is 'fair' though? The buzzer precision is one of the skills of the machine, so they use it. But I agree with others that it makes it less interesting. Maybe random mixing his button response with an average distribution of the other players response times would have made for a more interesting match. But playing the game isn't the point of this thing, so it doesn't really matter that much.

Can it pick stocks and/or time the market? I wish one of the Jeopardy clues involved paying off a mortgage or investing the money.


Heh-heh - I thought about that Terminator scene too - that always cracks me up!

-ERD50
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