IBM’s Watson supercomputer crowned Jeopardy king

IBM’s supercomputer Watson has trounced its two competitors in a televised show pitting human brains against computer bytes.

After a three night marathon on the quiz show Jeopardy, Watson emerged victorious to win a $1million (£622,000) prize.

The computer’s competitors were two of the most successful players ever to have taken part in Jeopardy.

But in the end their skill at the game was no match for Watson.

Ken Jennings had previously notched up 74 consecutive wins on the show – the most ever – while Brad Rutter had won the most amount of money, $3million (£1.9m).

“I for one welcome our new computer overlords,” Mr Jennings wrote along with his correct final Jeopardy question.

Search for meaning

But the victory for Watson and IBM was about more than money. It was about ushering in a new era in computing where machines will increasingly be able to learn and understand what humans are really asking them for.

Jeopardy is seen as a significant challenge for Watson because of the show’s rapid fire format and clues that rely on subtle meanings, puns, and riddles; something humans excel at and computers do not.

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