IBM’s “Watson” AI Trumps Jeopardy’s Humans

6a00d8341bf7f753ef014e8613aad6970d.jpg On the 30-question game board, veteran "Jeopardy!" champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter managed only five correct responses between them during the Double Jeopardy round that aired today, ending the first game of the two-game face-off with meager earnings of $4,800 and $10,400 respectively. Watson walked away from the Final Jeopardy round with $35,734.

Tuesday's competition began with Jennings (who has the longest "Jeopardy!" winning streak at 74 games) making the first choice. But Watson jumped in with the correct response: What is leprosy, following that with correct answers about Franz Liszt, dengue fever, violin, Rachmaninoff and albinism, then landed on a Daily Double in the "Cambridge" category.

"I'll wager $6,435," Watson (named for IBM founder Thomas J. Watson) said in his pleasant electronic voice. "I won't ask," said host Alex Trebek, wondering with everybody else where that figure came from. Watson answered correctly, Sir Christopher Wren and his total vaulted to $21,035 as the humans stood by stunned.

One answer stumped everyone: "A Titian portrait of this Spanish king was stolen at gunpoint from an Argentine museum in 1987." (Correct response: Philip.) Jennings shook his head. Rutter wrenched his face. Watson, as usual, seemed unfazed.

The trio will return on Wednesday, when their second game is aired. The overall winner will collect $1 million.

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