Certainly these men – the two most successful Jeopardy champions ever – should win, right? After all, they have something Watson doesn’t – a brain.
Not so fast! I’m calling the odds in Watson’s favor, and here’s why:
1. Brainpower. Yes, Rutter and Jennings have brains, but they each have only one. Watson, on the other hand, has had the benefit of the enormous brainpower of IBM’s research lab – an organization that pumps out record numbers of patents every year. Watson has the collective brains of many brilliant men and women who designed, developed, and tested “him”, making him the best he could be.
2. Watson doesn’t need to remember and recall. Rutter and Jennings, being human after all, just might find themselves in a position where they say, “I know that, I know that…” and still come up short on the answer. Watson simply needs to access the data and analyze it.
3. And speaking of data, Watson has access to data. Lots and lots of data. Surely the right answer is out there somewhere. If anything, Watson’s challenge will be to filter the data to zero in on what he needs.
4. Watson won’t let emotions get in his way. If he makes a mistake, he’s not going to be wondering if Ken Jennings thinks he’s an idiot. If he overbids on a daily double, he won’t let the loss slow down his trigger finger. He can just stand tall and move on.
5. Watson has nothing else to do. That’s right. Watson won’t be thinking about what to do with his winnings. He won’t be worrying about dinner later, or whether the kids did their homework. And even though he won’t be worried about whether his tie is on straight for the camera, I expect all eyes will be indeed be on him.
I’ll be watching and cheering for Watson. What about you?