90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
‘Watson’ And The New Face Of Artificial Intelligence

Top Jeopardy champions are putting their human brains up against a machine named Watson.  We look at the future – and reality, right now – of artificial intelligence.

Watson on Jeopardy

Watson on Jeopardy with contestants Ken Jennings, left, and Brad Rutter. (AP)

It’s man versus machine again this week. Not over a chess board, but on Jeopardy. IBM’s supercomputer Watson is up against two of the winningest humans in the game show’s history. Tonight is the finale.

Last night, Watson, the computer, thumped Brad and Ken, the champion humans. As a display of artificial intelligence, this may not have been what the visionaries first imagined when AI was conceived. But it is darned impressive to watch. It makes us wonder how much AI is working around us already. And where this goes.

We talk with a creator of Watson, with human Jeopardy champ Brad Rutter, and look at the future of artificial intelligence.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

David Gondek, research staff member for IBM on the Watson Project.

Stephen Baker, author of the new book “Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything.” He was Business-Week’s senior technology writer for a decade.

Brad Rutter, one of two Jeopardy champions to compete again Watson. He’s the biggest all-time money winner on Jeopardy.

Steven Levy, senior writer for Wired Magazine.  His article, “The AI Revolution is On” appeared in the January issue.  His book, “In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives” will be out in April.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 26, 2015
In this file photo, protesters sit at the intersection of Wall St. and Broad St. in New York, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. The protesters, many who were affiliated with Occupy Wall Street, were trying to draw attention to the connection between capitalism and environmental destruction. (AP)

In our age of hyper-inequality, historian Steve Fraser asks when the little guy stands up and says “enough.” He’s with us.

Mar 26, 2015
A child walks through a forest landscape. (Rudolf Vlček / Flickr)

American kids today spend only four to seven minutes a day playing outdoors. We hear a new call to raise the “wild child.”

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 25, 2015
This June 11, 2014 file photo shows Facebook's "like" symbol at the entrance to the company's campus in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook users in the U.S. will soon be able to send their friends money using the social network’s Messenger app, the company announced Tuesday, March 17, 2015. (AP)

“Tap and pay”: mobile money, peer-to-peer, all over now. SnapChat, Venmo, now Facebook Messenger. We’ll look at security and the new anthropology of digital money.

 
Mar 25, 2015
In this file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, shows the way to the guests who attended the signing ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. (AP)

Is America now its own worst enemy? Blowing a future that should be good? Harvard’s Joseph Nye and the New Yorker’s John Cassidy join us.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Mobile Payments Offer Convenience If You Keep Your Email Safe
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Thinking about moving your wallet to your phone? You can! And maybe you should? But TechCrunch senior writer Josh Constine has a few things to tell you before you do.

More »
Comment
 
Using Technology To Get Your Kids Outside
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

The latest and greatest — using apps to make natural exploration more fun for your kids.

More »
Comment
 
Week In The Web: March 20, 2015
Friday, Mar 20, 2015

The emailed comments question continues to haunt us, we shake off / salute our haters and CNN Politics spends way too much time on FinalCut (in a good way!).

More »
Comment