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February 15, 2011


Cliff Clavin

" Who are two airports that have never been in my kitchen?".

Jane (get off the couch - come save the country)

When you yell at the TV TM, do you do it in the form of a question?


TM, you may be an even more crazy looker up of things than I am. I tip my hat to your superior sense of curiosity...


I found out about that detail, from this in the LUN, I'm beginning to lose confidence in Watson, after moments like this,

Danube of Thought

Who is televising this epic?


As a Cheers fan in going on 18 years of mourning, I appreciate comment number 1.

Mothers & sons for $500, Alex.



According to Nova, Watson is fed the question electronically as Alex reads it so he -- it -- gets the question at the same time as the (other) contestants.

The Nova show is well worth watching, if you get the chance. You get to see Watson grow in sophistication.


The story of O'Hare and his dad has been floating around the internet for several years and has been forwarded to me in a number of those open, open, open, open, for God's sake don't you know how to cut and paste, emails that one gets from relatives and friends who aren't computer literate.

Watched it last night, I think Watson gets his questions via text
as the questions are being read. That appears to me to be a huge headstart as a computer that powerful will imput that query before Alex can even finish his first word.
When Watson was wrong he was spectacularly wrong, not even close. The algorithms, no matter how ingenious and with banks of servers to crunch the facts, pretty obviously don't capture human intelligence.

Paul Zrimsek

Next question from the Airports category: "This city has two airports named after two men who died in the same plane crash."

Danube of Thought

Nashville, with Richie Valens Aerodrome and Big Bopper International?


I was under the impression that Watson did not have the last words of the text for the question until Alex was completing the words verbally. Watson is getting text.

wm. tyroler

The Final Jeopardy question related to a U.S. city, which made Watson's answer a real head-scratcher.


I know this makes me sound really old, but I remember the very first Jeopardy broadcast. It was always exactly at noon, on Channel 4, the NBC affiliate here in New York. The announcer was NBC's Don Pardo, who later was the announcer for Saturday Night Live, and the host was Art Fleming. But for me, the really good quiz shows were "It's Academic" and "College Bowl."

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Peter: Do you remember the original "Price is Right" with Bill Cullen?


Probably Oshawa sounded really Japanesey to Watson. It threw him off.

Danube of Thought

I remember watching Johnny Carson host "Who Do You Trust?" in 1956. I thought College Bowl was awful.

What's the answer, PaulZ?


I liked College Bowl. I'd watch it I believe on early Saturday evenings. I always felt so smart if I got an answer correct. I was in high school then.


I was a moderator for a high school team for It's Academic. Our team won and I received a free dictionary. We also got scholarship money for the school.


Great show, "Who Do You Trust?"

According to this posting, TM is smarter than the average bear.

Danube of Thought

The worst football announcer in TV history was Chris Schenkel. Worst color man was a tie between Red Grange and Bud ("that all-important time of ossession") Wilkinson. Some would vote for Al Derogatis, Curt Gowdy's partner during the old AFL days; SI once reported that "the players tend to derogate Derogatis."

Remember Elbert "Golden Wheels" Dubenion?

Must I stop now?


My favorite, DoT, was John Facenda, the voice of God. "Bradshaw, his nose broken and limping from Alan Page's hit in the second series of the 4th quarter, takes the snap and is blindsided by Green Bay linebacker Wally Hilginberg as he hits rookie Lynn Swann for a critical seven yard first down..."". And the seas were parted....

I was scary good at Jeopardy until they started with the lightweight Madonna, who's got what hair style questions. Ah, what could have been...me and Art Fleming woulda been contenders.

What is denial, Alex????


It's astonishing to me that a computer can win at Jeopardy and Lady Gaga showed up to the Grammys in an egg, yet some of you people still deny global warming.


--Some would vote for Al Derogatis--

Poor old Al was mythically bad.
I'm not positive but i believe he had the distinction of being the only player with a head so frickin big they had to glue two helmets together to make one big enough to fit his gargantuan bean.


"What is Mexico?"

"What are the Finger Lakes?"

"What is Titicaca?"

">http://www.gonemovies.com/WWW/Drama/Drama/GroundFles.asp"> "What is the Rhone?"


"What is tungsten or wolfram?"

"What is Mount Suvious?"
"All right, uh, let's go with Foods that start with the letter Q pleas."

Sara (Pal2Pal)

What are:

Jack is Back!

What is the the port that I am looking out at right now? Well, its Valpariso, Chile and we have arrived, awaiting our disembarkation number to be called so we can clear Aduana and Immigracion and vamos to Santiago for the day then to the airport to fly to Atlanta on to Daytona.

We are full of too many impressions to share right now but will use Frederick's voice over the next few days to answer some of your questions, post photos of gardens (for CC) and put up a photo blog somewhere for the pictures of Cape Horn, the fjords and those adorable penguins. Perhaps a video or two.

Now we need to log off and say adios.


I do remember Bill Cullen. Every time he came on the air, my grandmother would say something about how he had a physical deformity.


Well I would have beaten Watson on one question anyway. Course, I started reading Midway history in spring 1967, and really haven't stopped. The O'Hare family history that's on the internet, is that legit?

Captain Hate

Some would vote for Al Derogatis, Curt Gowdy's partner during the old AFL days; SI once reported that "the players tend to derogate Derogatis."

At least De-Ro lasted a few seasons with Curt; he was a bit endearing in his dimwittedness. Fred "The Hammer" Williamson was so bad that after one MNF performance they gave him the bum's rush iirc.

Regarding Chris Schenkel, I could never understand why he was allowed in front of a microphone.

Paul Zrimsek

And the Alternative Final Jeopardy question is... What is Oklahoma City? (Home of Will Rogers World Airport and Wiley Post Airport.)


I believe the only question is the intent and motivation of the senior O'Hare.

I R A Darth Aggie

a name change of Chicago's Orchard Depot Airport

Ah, that explains why O'Hare Airport's code is ORD.



yes I understand that certain facts are part of the public record, my question is about the Naval Academy admission and other motivations. Is that all suposition or did senior Mr. O'Hare have anything to say before he was gunned down. BTW-- Butch O'Hare's demise in action is less than clear as well.



What is W. C. Fields famous punch line?


--At least De-Ro lasted a few seasons with Curt; he was a bit endearing in his dimwittedness.--

He was actually a pretty likable guy but such a knucklehead, oy!

--Fred "The Hammer" Williamson was so bad--

I'll probably get hammered myself for saying this, but the most incisive color guy I ever heard was OJ, the Juice, the crazy ass murderer.
He would occasionally get a little tongue tied and always sounded like he was rolling Captain Queeg's marbles around his mouth but he consistently saw things that no one else did and was darn near always right when the replay came up.

Mad Jack

Matt: Didn't Alan Page play for the Vikings? Must have been a tough day for Bradshaw if he had to take on the Vikes and Green Bay in the same game :-)


"the category names on Jeopardy! are tricky. The answers often do not exactly fit the category. Watson, in his training phase, learned that categories only weakly suggest the kind of answer that is expected, and, therefore, the machine downgrades their significance."

Watson, you malfunctioning bucket of bolts... In this case, the category was an essential perimeter. An advantage us flesh-bags have over our robot overlords is we can do things like 'downgrade the significance of a category, except when we don't.'


Answer - What is a boundary or path that surrounds an area.


Hah! Ken Jennings final jeopardy answer parenthetical comment was, "I for one welcome our new computer overlords."


Watson won. And Alex applauded the PEOPLE who created Watson.

Will Chane

Midway was Midway before Midway---Its name has nothing to do with the Battle of Midway.

Wikopedia has the dope.

bio mom

The questions were too fact-based. You cannot beat a computer at that. If they had included categories like those where you have to join together two halves of an answer and create a new word, I suspect the computer would fail at that. I wonder if only certain categories of questions were acceptable to IBM?!

Cecil Turner

I watched the match with interest. But the questions were far easier than the usual matches (I knew most of 'em), and the only real competition was who could buzz in first. Not surprisingly, the electronic entity was the most effective at sending a signal between the time the answer was finished and before the next competitor. And Watson's MO appears to be a lot like a souped-up verson of Google, choosing the response with the most hits.

Color me unimpressed.


Suck it, Trebek.

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