Opinion: IBM’s Watson puts show in Jeopardy

Dylan Lusk

Dylan Lusk

Dylan Lusk is sophomore Electronic Media Production major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

Since 1964, Jeopardy has been one of the most popular game shows in America. It pits three people against each other in a battle of wits. However, the ratings seem to be on a downward spiral in the past few years. The producers are pulling out whatever they can to get more viewers.

Sure, no network wants to see any dropping ratings on their shows, but these kind of ratings allow you to put some ridiculous things on television.

This publicity stunt was on a different level than the typical “college week,” “kids week,” or “Ken Jennings season” that the Jeopardy producers usually pull.

They took it way further this time and had the contestants play against a freaking computer.

IBM decided to test the abilities of their supercomputer “Watson” against the best of Jeopardy history, Ken Jennings (longest running Jeopardy champion) and Brad Rutter (highest money winner).

So, much like we all expected, “Watson” destroyed the competition, but it feels like someone just sits behind the computer and Googles everything as Trebek asks. But apparently there is more to it than that. “Watson” is not connected to the Internet. He is just stocked full of information. He even has the entire contents of Wikipedia in his memory.

Now here’s the problem I also have Wikipedia. Give me something more, Jeopardy producers. I don’t need to watch television to find out that computers are smarter than humans. I can already tell that as I write this. My computer is easily remembering everything I’ve typed in this article. I couldn’t tell you anything I wrote 4 sentences back without double checking.

So I’m saying “Watson” needs a little extra to make him a great publicity stunt. Not a publicity stunt like a crotch shot, a legit one.

First off, make “Watson” look more evil. You need to put a face on this 2012 conspiracy. “Watson” looks like a weird TV with a DVD screensaver on it. Next time, “Watson” should be at least ten feet tall. He needs to breath fire and punch holes in things. Godzilla did a hell of a lot better in the box office than any movie about a wimpy computer. Take a note, Jeopardy.

Second, competition isn’t anything without a little trash talk. You’re trying to tell me that this “Watson” character has all of that information stored within, but can’t gather the information to call Ken Jennings a nerd? And why didn’t any of the contestants throw any insults at “Watson”? They didn’t even say anything about his boxy figure or dumb voice.

This last suggestion is a little bit obvious but it must be said. Watson needs a self-destruct command. Here’s the catch, the command is the answer for one of the daily doubles. Both contestants know what the command is. Are they going to risk answering it? Or lose the money? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

So there you have it Jeopardy, three simple suggestions to raise your ratings. I basically wrote a commercial for you, too. So next time you need more ratings, I say bring more destruction.