IBM's Watson on Jeopardy, The Final Saga

Published on Feb 17, 2011 by Jamie Munro

In yesterday's article I focused mainly on Watson.  So, in case you missed the episode last night, BIG SPOILER ALERT, Watson won.  Ken was actually pretty close after Double Jeopardy; in fact he was leading after the Jeopardy round.  If Ken would have bet bigger in Final Jeopardy it wouldn't have been a gigantic blow out...

Now, in today's article I wanted to focus specifically on how incredible Google's search technology is.  Below are the 5 categories from the Jeopardy round and a sample of questions from each category.  Beneath the question is the answer and whether Watson was wrong.  Beneath the answer is the result of a Google search and how easily and where the answer could be found.


EU, The European Union


Question: Each year the EU selects capitals of culture; one of the 2010 cities was this Turkish "meeting place of cultures"
Answer: Istanbul
Google: 2nd result, right in the title

Question: Elected every 5 years it has 736 members from 7 parties
Answer: Parliament
Google: 1st result, right in the title

Question: As of 2010 Croatia & Macedonia are candidates but this is the only former Yugoslav Republic in the EU
Answer: Slovenia (wrong)
Google: 4th result, had to search the content, but it was there

Actors Who Direct


Question: "A bronx tale"
Answer: Robert de Nero
Google: 1st result, the description

Question: "The Great Debaters"
Answer: Denzel Washington
Google: 1st result, the description

Dialing for Dialects


Question: While Maltese borrows many words from Italian, it developed a dialect of this semitic language
Answer: Arabic
Google: 1st result, right in the title

Question: Aeolic, spoken in ancient times, was a dialect of this
Answer: Ancient greek
Google: 1st result, right in the title

Breaking News


Question: Gambler Charles Wells is believed to have inspired the song "The man who" did this "at Monte Carlo"
Answer: Broke the bank
Google: 1st result, in the description

Question: Nearly 10 million youtubers saw Dave Carroll's clip called this "Friendly Skies" airline "breaks guitars"
Answer: United Airlines
Google: 1st result, in the description

One Buck Or Less


Question: 99 cents got me a 4-pack of Ytterlig coasters from this Swedish chain
Answer: Ikea
Google: No results!

Question: A 15-ounce VO5 moisture milks conditioner from this manufacturer averages a buck online
Answer: Alberto (wrong)
Google: 3rd result, in the description

Also On Your Computer Keys


Question: It's an abbreviation for Grand Prix Auto Racing
Answer: F1 (wrong)
Google: 2nd result, in the title

Question: An additional section placed within the folds of a newspaper
Answer: Insert
Google: 1st result, in the title

Final Jeopardy - 19th Century Novelists


Question: William Wilkinson's "An account of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia" inspired this author's most famous novel
Answer: Bram Stoker
Google: 3rd result, in the description.  Must be noted, that the first two results where regarding tonight's episode of Jeopardy!

As you can see, Google in itself is pretty good!

Tags: jeopardy | watson | ibm | Theory

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