This week, Jeopardy had a 3-day special where two of the best Jeopardy players of all time played against an IBM supercomputer named Watson. It is an interesting news story that has been picked up by mainstream media, and marketed at work this week, but I also have interest in it from a hobbyist AI point of view.

At a high level, what Watson does doesn’t seem difficult (at least from my couch). It takes a variety of words from the answers and other factors (like previous answers in the category and category name), and then determines what other words belong in the cluster. Then it constructs a question out of the highest confidence result, which if high enough, it will buzz in and say. I’m sure the specifics are much more challenging but that’s why you have a team of people and money to fund them.

With Watson in the news, AI has become a hot topic. I have a little AI challenge of my own going on, which is to come up with competent opponents for Condado. More on that in another post.