Machine beats man at his own game on 'Jeopardy!'

A: This IBM computer defeated game-show trivia champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, winning $77,147. Q: Who is Watson?

jeopardy computer 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
jeopardy computer 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
"I for one welcome our new computer overlords," ''Jeopardy!" competitor Ken Jennings wrote resignedly on his screen, as Watson the IBM computer thoroughly stomped on him and fellow super-geek Brad Rutter during Watson's final appearance on the syndicated game show.
Watson racked up a total of $77,147 during competition after wagering $17,973 that "Who is Bram Stoker?" was the correct question to the clue: "William Wilkinson's 'An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia' inspired this author's most famous novel."
Jennings and Rutter got it right, too. But when the dust settled at the end of Wednesday's competition, Jennings (with a total of $24,000) and Rutter (total of $21,600) were so many laps behind Watson's $77,147, it was as if they were running in the next race.
In Wednesday's final match, Watson competed - if you could call this walkover a competition - against Rutter and Jennings in a full game of "Jeopardy!" The winning Watson took home the $1 million grand prize. Actually, IBM donated it to two lucky charities.
Heading into its final night of stealing every scene on "Jeopardy!" Watson had pretty thoroughly whomped the two brainiacs.
After hitting both Daily Doubles on Tuesday's show - the middle of a three-episode competition arc for Watson - the IBM computer was leading with a commanding total of $35,734. Rutter's pot stood at $10,400. And Jennings had to be wishing he'd never agreed to participate in this man-vs.-machine February-sweep stunt, 'cause he was holding an embarrassingly low $4,800.
Jennings holds the show's record for winning the most consecutive games (74), and Rutter is known for earning the most money in "Jeopardy!" history. Watson was not impressed.
The $1 million prize is money well spent for the syndicated game show's producers. In its TV debut, Watson handed "Jeopardy!" its best single-day rating in four years. The next night the show broke that record, clocking its biggest rating in nearly six years, according to preliminary stats from Nielsen Media Research.
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