Watson finished its first (of three) round of bout against legendary human players Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.  It is tied for first with $5,000 with Rutter while Jennings has $2,000.

Being a supercomputer, Watson has the obvious advantage of storing unlimited amounts of data and facts.  However, its challenge – and what its makers are trying to achieve – is the understanding of questions worded in the human language.

Indeed, one challenge of JEOPARDY! clues (even for human players) is that they’re  rife with “subtle meaning, irony, riddles, and other complexities,” said IBM, Watson's creator.

At the first showing, Watson demonstrated its ability to grasp these subtle points of the human language and held its own against the best mankind has to offer (when it comes to JEOPARDY!).  

Ultimately, the scientists at IBM hope the understanding of human language can allow machines to serve people better in areas like health care, information dissemination, and customer service.

But no matter how advanced machines get, they can never completely replace human beings.

At one point during the game, Watson repeated a wrong response from Jennings.  A human, of course, wouldn’t have done that.

Although this deficiency can be quickly programmed and incorporated into Watson, it serves to demonstrate that machines simply won’t have all the ability of humans – the best scientists can do is discover these unexpected deficiencies one by one and manually incorporate them into the machines.

Below are videos about Watson's from IBM.

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