Posts Tagged ‘Alex Trebek’

Monday Medley

What we read while Reagan’s ghost cleaned up the mess at UC-Davis…

Advertisements

Monday Medley

What we read while Derek Jeter got even more insufferable…

Monday Medley

What we read while jokingly telling Billy Donovan he outcoached us:


  • Some absolute gangbusters college basketball journalism in the wake of a riveting weekend (and this is before seeing what the scribes have to say about VCU). The best of the bunch might be Luke Winn’s behind-the-scenes look at Butler, which includes yet another quote that makes everyone — us included — swoon over Brad Stevens: “Stevens stood on the court on Saturday night and someone asked him if what the Bulldogs just accomplished was unbelievable. ‘Believable is a better term,’ he said. ‘It’s a more positive term, it makes you live life a little bit better, it makes you a bit more thankful for the opportunities and take advantage of them.'”
  • Kyle Whelliston takes down the RPI! The fight is not lost! (We wonder if Kyle’s head is going to explode with a mid-major national semifinal on Saturday.)
  • We forget if we gave the official thumbs-up to Quickish already, but if not, here it is. Best thing to have open during Tourney games or really any sporting event.

How Does Watson Know What Watson Knows?

Watson, the IBM supercomputer designed to play Jeopardy!, made his television debut yesterday, and while the game may not be over, it was a very auspicious start. Watson is currently tied with one of Jeopardy’s most successful champions, Brad Rutter, and is currently leading the most famous contestant ever, Ken Jennings.

This is pretty amazing on a lot of levels. Computers have been “smart” for a very long time (dating back to at least whenever we started teaching them chess), but Watson takes it to another level. For one, it’s worth pointing out that Watson is not connected to the Internet. In other words, Watson is storing all of the information it has for itself. More impressive, the computer can understand the intricacies of human language better than any other machine, since it has to not only generate information, but also generate the specific piece of information that the clue is looking for. Not to mention the fact that Jeopardy! clues are known for being full of wordplay and allusions that seem particularly troubling for a computer to digest.

While all this is impressive and important to the world of artificial intelligence, I’m more interested in another epistemological component of Watson’s thought process: How does Watson know what it knows? Continue reading