After being annihilated the night before, there was virtually no chance for Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter to win the IBM Jeopardy Challenge against their supercomputer rival, Watson. However, they played to salvage some pride from this blatantly one sided matchup. This time around Ken Jennings was completely up for it. He was noticeably faster in buzzing in first against Watson throughout the match, something he hadn’t been able to do in the last match. This resulted in Jennings and the computer going into the final rounds with relatively closer scores.
The supercomputer Watson, although not as overwhelming as it was during the last round, wasn’t much confused by questions this time around, and to its credit, provided relevant answers to most of them. It also proved, and conclusively, that it was much better than its competitors made of flesh and blood. By the time the dust had settled Watson sat on a pile of $77,000, much greater than the combined total of both its human adversaries.
This victory of Watson over humans in a head to head competition is being seen as a very significant stepping stone for the upcoming generations of computers. However, it is far from a flawless know-it-all at the moment (the machine thinks Toronto is situated in the US). With all this said, this is still the closest we have come yet to achieving that long standing dream of creating computers and robots which are capable of near perfect interaction with human beings, like how people talk with each other. Granted that Watson isn’t very adept at voice recognition at the moment and that it is also huge by most standards and stereotypes of modern day computers, it still marks an astronomical leap from the computers that used to exist a couple of decades earlier and occupied whole rooms while being not very powerful by modern standards.