- Wouldn’t Jeopardy! be better without those stupid buzzers? Even if the contestants just, y’know, took turns? In a game focused solely on question-answering (OK, OK, answer-questioning) rather than buzzing, Watson would still have done amazingly well and reflected credit on its developers, but the man/machine competition would have been much closer and much more interesting to watch. No one needs a repeated demonstration that computers have faster reaction times than humans.
- Inspired by the timeline discussion: could something like Watson have been built in, say, 2000? If not, then which developments of the past decade played important roles?
- Back when Deep Blue beat Kasparov, IBM made a big to-do about the central role played by its large, specially-designed mainframe with custom “chess chips”—but then it wasn’t long before programs like Deep Fritz running on desktop PCs produced similar (and today, probably superior) performance. How long before we can expect a computer Jeopardy! champion that fits behind the podium?
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