Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, two of the most successful players in Jeopardy, put up a spirited fight, but ultimately couldn't hang. Jennings foreshadowed the inevitable with his final Jeopardy answer. The answer: Bram Stoker. The subtext: "I for one welcome our new computer overlords."
The two day totals highlighted the extent of the victory for Watson.
- IBM's Watson had $77,147 at the end of two days.
- Jennings had $24,000.
- Rutter rounded out the festivities with $21,600.
Heading into the final Jeopardy round it appeared that Jennings had some momentum. But then Watson won a flurry of questions that appeared to suck the momentum out of Jennings.
The final Jeopardy category was 19th century novelists.
And the answer: William Wilkinson's "An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia" inspired this author's most famous novel.
The question — all three contestants got right — was Who is Bram Stoker? The ever-precise Watson wagered $17,973.
In the end, Watson was a natural on Jeopardy. It was even likeable with his quirks — very precise wagers and a robotic voice. If Watson is ultimately our computer overlord he at least seems jovial.
More about IBM's Watson
- Video: Final Jeopardy! and the future of Watson (IBM)
- Watson whips wetware; machines rule Jeopardy (SmartPlanet)
- IBM Watson supercomputer beats Jeopardy champs in practice round (TechRepublic)
- Seven reasons network management needs IBM's Watson (TechRepublic)
- IBM's Watson on Jeopardy: is this the beginning of the singularity? (SmartPlanet)
- Why IBM's Watson experiment is important for artificial intelligence (SmartPlanet)
- What makes IBM's Watson run? (ZDNet)
- Universities enroll to develop IBM's Watson (ZDNet)
- IBM Watson's next adventure: Healthcare with Nuance (ZDNet)
Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and Editorial Director of TechRepublic.