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Watson the supercomputer on Jeopardy
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Watson the supercomputer on Jeopardy:

 26 Mark Von Lewis, Fri, 25th Feb '11 12:32:46 AM from Somewhere in Time Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
KCCO
Oh, my bad, I was greatly misinformed. Nevermind.
"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S. Thompson
I don't mean to belittle Watson, it is pretty cool, but it's not going to go all overthrowing humans or creating robot armies or anything. As far as I can tell its programming isn't designed to be generating original content.

edited 25th Feb '11 12:35:41 AM by melloncollie

 28 Deboss, Fri, 25th Feb '11 12:39:47 AM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Pft, as if we should fight Skynet.
 29 Chalkos, Fri, 25th Feb '11 4:02:02 AM from The Internets
Sidequest Proliferator
I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords.

Also, I demand that they shrink Watson's parser to a manageable size and install it in our cell phones so when you "Please say a command" it doesn't always reply "Did you say cheese parfait?"

 30 Deboss, Fri, 25th Feb '11 5:00:06 AM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
I want one that says "By your command" instead.
 31 storyyeller, Fri, 25th Feb '11 5:34:36 AM from Appleloosa Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
More like giant cherries
I heard that the reason it missed the fact that Toronto is in Canada is because of the overabundance of places in the United States called "Ontario." It saw Ontario, connected it to the myriad of other Ontarios, and came up with the wrong answer.

Actually, since it analyzes millions of documents with thousands of different algorithms, it's never that simple. Here's a sample of some of the evidence that could have contributed to the uncertainty.

There's a bunch of weak evidence connecting Toronto to being a US city. For example, it's search turned up something like 8 different cities in the US named Toronto. Furthermore, Toronto, Canada appears on a list of "American and Canadian cities". Toronto is also referenced in an article about fictional US presidents. However, Watson realized that all this evidence is really weak. Ordinarily it would have been ignored, but when you're not sure what the answer it, it may have provided a slight increase in confidence.

Another important point to remember is that just because the category is "US Cities" doesn't mean that the answer is always a U.S. city. For example, there was a previous round in Jeopardy where one of the US City questions had the answer "What is shuffleboard".

Life is simple: it has no nontrivial normal subgroups.
A Crooked Mile
Just had a thought: no one should ever load information on Watson into Watson's databanks. If you do that, you're just asking for it to become self-aware.
Little-known fact: the four gospels were known in their time as Wedge, Bobby Steve, Red, and Smackdaddy. — ABNDT
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