Man Ties With Machine in Jeopardy Showdown

Humans fight back after IBM's Watson takes early lead
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2011 11:09 PM CST
Man Tied With Machine in Jeopardy Showdown
Host Alex Trebek, left, poses with contestants Ken Jennings, center, and Brad Rutter and a computer named Watson.   (AP Photo/Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

The first round of Jeopardy's three-game man versus supercomputer showdown finished Monday night with humanity having fended off the rise of the machine. Human player Brad Rutter, the game show's record money-winner, was tied with IBM supercomputer Watson at $5,000 at the close of play, AP reports. The other human contestant, Ken Jennings, who has the longest winning streak at 74 games, was far behind with $2,000.

At one point, Watson had $4,000 while his human rivals had just $200 each and a rout appeared likely, but Rutter's comeback was aided by a few slip-ups on the computer's part. After Jennings had incorrectly answered "1920s" to a question, Watson gave the same incorrect answer. "Watson is very bright, very fast, but he has some weird little moments," host Alex Trebek said. (Read more Alex Trebek stories.)

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