[ExI] A different question about Watson

Richard Loosemore rpwl at lightlink.com
Thu Feb 17 16:24:11 UTC 2011

I am a little puzzled about one thing:  did Watson get its questions
from doing speech recognition, or did someone type the questions in
ahead of time, and press a button to send the text to Watson at the same
time that Alex spoke it?

Only reason I ask is that Ben Goertzel, in his H+ essay on the subject:


gives some examples of Jeopardy questions:

> “Whinese” is a language they use on long car trips
> The motto of this 1904-1914 engineering project was “The land
> divided, the world united”
> Built at a cost of more than $200 million, it stretches from
> Victoria, B.C. to St. John’s, Newfoundland
> Jay Leno on July 8, 2010: The “nominations were announced today…
> there’s no ‘me’ in” this award

... and these questions contain some interestingly useful structure in 
their written form.  I am thinking mostly of the very helpful quotation 

I suspect that there was no speech recognition, and that Watson got 
direct text, but perhaps someone who actually saw the shows can tell if 
this is the case?

Richard Loosemore

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