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Author Topic: Can computers play on game shows?  (Read 3662 times)

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Can computers play on game shows?
« on: 16/01/2011 02:16:15 »
I just heard a computer called Watson will be playing on Jeopardy (The game show). How do they make it fair? Will Douglas Rain (Voice of HAL in 2001) be the voice of Watson?


 

Offline Geezer

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Offline CliffordK

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Can computers play on game shows?
« Reply #2 on: 16/01/2011 02:48:33 »
I already started the topic last week   :D

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=36493.0

The reality is that it is not a simple program.

While it may have downloaded the entire Encyclopedia Britannica and the entire Wikipedia.  The computer needs to distil all that information down to a 1 or 2 word answer.  So Google or Ask Jeeves can give page after page of garbage which I must then sort through...  when all I really want is "the answer".

I haven't seen much discussion about the language interface, but I assume the computer must both interpret and respond in "natural language" in real time.  That interface alone would be pretty amazing.

Jeopardy, and many game shows, can be tricky as it is possible to stop the recitation of a question, and respond to a partial question.  But, they often hang a key clue at the end of the question.

I can imagine the search engine applications of this program will be extraordinary as it matures.  I wonder why Google isn't competing???  Once a computer passes the challenge, it will, of course, exclude itself from the competition.  And, I have no doubt that it eventually will.  If not this year, then later in the decade.

It is also possible to create questions that are extraordinary difficult for a computer, but easy for a person.

For example.  Occasionally I have Nigerians that jump onto Yahoo Messenger claiming to be an American travelling in Africa.  So, I try to ask them a question about the area they claim to be from.  

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A Nigerian claimed to be from Florida.  So I asked her the question "Who is Andrew?"....  to which she had no response.
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Another Nigerian claimed to be from Texas.  So the question was "What is the State Motto?  The Lone..."
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A third Nigerian claimed to be from Kansas.  Her question was "What state is Kansas City in?"

I like my "Andrew" question  :)
But, it is easy enough to add enough ambiguity to a question that makes an automated response difficult.
 

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Offline David Clarke

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Can computers play on game shows?
« Reply #4 on: 04/02/2011 21:55:41 »
In answer to the original question about Watson's voice, no it's not Douglas Rain's.  While IBM originally tried to keep it confidential, NY Times readers as well as several bloggers have accurately identified Watson's voice as actor/audiobook narrator Jeff Woodman.  Woodman himself recently confirmed this on a syndicated radio program.
 

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Can computers play on game shows?
« Reply #4 on: 04/02/2011 21:55:41 »

 

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