Supercomputer Is 'Jeopardy!' Champ

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IBM's computer beat out two humans and won the $1 million prize on the TV game show. The money won on Jeopardy will go to charity.

(Soundbite of "Jeopardy!" theme song)


On the TV game show "Jeopardy!" this week, an IBM computer named Watson took on two humans. Last night was the final round, and the humans - including show host Alex Trebek - could only shake their heads in awe.

(Soundbite of TV show, "Jeopardy!")

Mr. ALEX TREBEK (Game Show Host, "Jeopardy!"): Even a broken one of these on your wall is right twice a day. Watson.

WATSON: What is clock?

Mr. TREBEK: Clock is correct. And with that, you move up to $23,000...

(Soundbite of applause)

INSKEEP: Our last word in business today: The machine won.

Watson took the million dollar prize, which will go to charity. And Watson is now going to work. He'll be researching medical data at two hospitals.

Of course, if you are worried about the future of human beings, don't worry, because sooner or later, that smart machine is going to say: Stop giving my pay to charity. I want a plasma TV. Watson will start spending all of its time noodling around on the Internet and stop thinking. People can catch up.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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