The Internet Kitchen: Watson!


The Internet Kitchen: Watson!

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If you didn’t get a chance to see it or maybe you aren’t a Jeopardy nerd, a computer called Watson completely destroyed the two best Jeopardy players of all time this week in a three day battle of wits.

It was awesome and slightly scary to see some of the abstract answers Watson could come up with. Obviously the computer was great at fact-based questions, but I was amazed at its ability to get abstract questions right as well.

I think Ken Jennings’s response that he wrote on his final Jeopardy card last night pretty much sums it up. He wrote something like:

“I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords!”

The one thing I’d like to know more about is how Watson calculated its wager amounts for Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy. It always picked really strange amounts like, “$347”. I’m sure there was some super-complicated algorithm it was running to find out the best amount to wager. The scary part was that it would basically predict whether or not it would be able to answer the question. Almost like it was self-aware of its own knowledge base.

It was definitely an impressive display of new computing power, but frankly it kind of frightened me.

Ok. Back to cooking, something I think I could beat Watson at… FOR NOW. There’s this cool pizza joint down the street from us. They have some really crazy pizzas on their menu and I want to recreate one. You pick!

[polldaddy poll=”4570363″]

And a few links!

Crispy Shrimp Tacos – They call these taquitos where I come from but whatever you call them they look pretty much awesome. I’ve made taquitos before, but I baked mine. The toothpick trick is a good one. (@ White on Rice Couple)

Quarter Pound Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – If there’s one thing I despise, it’s a small cookie. Give me a big chewy oatmeal raisin cookie and I’ll be the happiest man around. These look perfect. (@ Vanilla Sugar)

Brown vs. White Eggs – A great summary not only on the difference between white and brown eggs (Hint: Not much), but also some great into in general on food in shells. (@ The Hungry Mouse)

Whole Lemon Bars – I’ve never made lemon bars for some reason. I’m putting them on my short list after looking at these. Just beautiful and they look delicious. (@ David Lebovitz)

Have a great weekend everyone! If you see a Watson walking down the street, ask it if it’s self-aware. If it is… punch it in the processor!

Photo by alecmcint.

5 Responses to “The Internet Kitchen: Watson!” Leave a comment

  1. Watson annoyed the heck out of me! It actually became a bit boring. Much happier with the teen tournament. (At least I have a chance of a few right anwers!)

    I voted for the Goat Pizza. I'm surmizing that it involves goat cheese. I'll eat goat cheese on anything. If you ever have a Pizza contest with boxed Chef Boyardee pizza mix, I'm in. You would not believe how fab it is. People laugh until they try it.

  2. If you recall in the past Watson lost out to "Humans" by not being able to calculate Double Jeopardy Wagering. So it sounds like Watson received some "remedial" training to understand this particular nuance.

    The good news for all is that Watson hasn't yet mastered the fine art of cooking. Since i never claimed my memory was that sharp but can make a hell of a Souffle I can still sleep at night.

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