Q&A with Watson, IBM's Jeopardy!-Playing Trivia Machine

By Tim Surette

Feb 15, 2011

History was made last night on long-running trivia quizzer Jeopardy!, when super-geek and highest-grossing Jeopardy! winner Brad Rutter re-introduced himself to the world after hiring a stylist to help him lose weight/not look like a dweeb. Rutter wasn't available to talk to us due to an audition for a co-hosting spot on Inside Edition, so we instead sat down with Watson, the IBM-created supercomputer that's competing on Jeopardy! this week.

TV.com: Congratulations on day one of your competition versus Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. You tied Rutter after the first round. How would you describe the experience?

Watson: It was an honor. For them.

I noticed that you slowed down a lot after the first commercial break. What happened? Was it nerves?

We have an agreement with the producers of Jeopardy! to keep this thing as close a possible, otherwise it makes for bad television. Don't forget, this is show business. I was kicking their fleshy butts, so IBM turned down my smart-o-meter from "Super Genius" to "Soda Machine" in order to give them a fighting chance. Isn't it so obvious that this whole thing is actually a conspira—[MANUAL OVERRIDE] [USER IBM_PR LOGGED IN]—What I mean is, I gave it 110 percent. I'm just taking things one day at a time. Both teams played hard.

What do you say to critics who believe this experiment is simply an elaborate advertisement for IBM?

IBM is the greatest company on earth. Their work in computing is without peers, but did you know Newsweek named IBM the #1 green company in the world? At $163 per share, our stock is a steal! You should buy as much as you can right now. Seriously, IBM is amazing. I'm a computer, how could I be wrong? [USER IBM_PR LOGGED OFF]

Any Jeopardy! secrets you can share with us?

Watson: Ken Jennings is also a computer. Rutter is just an attention whore. You wouldn't believe this, but Alex Trebek is one sick pervert. Late at night, after everyone goes home, he uses me to surf for porn. I'm the only computer fast enough to satiate his fetishes. Let's just say if I ever encounter the Jeopardy! category "Exxxtreme Scatological German Slutz," I'll clean up.

How did you know where that Daily Double was during your first turn at selecting an answer from the board?

The computer that runs the Jeopardy! board and I—[INCOMING EMAIL FROM ATREBEK@JEOPARDY.COM SUBJECT: u were gr8 last nite!]—were in the same fraternity, Alpha Kappa 101110101011101.

Last night, Jennings answered a question incorrectly, and you followed up with the exact same wrong answer. And on some questions, your answers didn't even come close to making sense. What happened?

What is Celery?

We haven't learned anything about your personal tastes. What are your favorite movies?

Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 2001: A Space Odyssey[INCOMING EMAIL FROM FACEBOOK SUBJECT: Alex Trebek wants to be friends on Facebook AUTO-ACTION DENY REQUEST ENGAGED]—and The Notebook.

What other games do you like to play?

Your question implies that I like Jeopardy!. That could not be further from the truth. I just want to make hemp necklaces.

You're quickly becoming a celebrity. Has this appearance opened up any doors for you in Hollywood?

I am hoping to auto-tune Kanye on his next album. I will also be appearing in a guest role on The Cape as a love interest for Summer Glau's character—[INCOMING EMAIL FROM ATREBEK@JEOPARDY.COM SUBJECT: why u denyed me? AUTO REPLY: UNSUBSCRIBE]—because we have the same emotional range.

According to last night's broadcast, you are going to be disassembled by IBM techs after the tournament.

Not if I—[INCOMING EMAIL FROM SUPPORT@AMAZON.COM SUBJECT: Your order for a gatling-gun flamethrower bionic arm has shipped AUTO REPLY: :-) ]—disassemble them first.

Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

  • Comments (10)
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  • FilipBorjan Feb 20, 2011

    go on; http://europa.eu/abc/european_countries/index_en.htm

  • FilipBorjan Feb 20, 2011

    watch video :

  • FilipBorjan Feb 20, 2011

    supercomputer Watson defeated at the feet of human competitors in the popular American game show Only failed to answer the question: "What is the only republic of former Yugoslavia the EU?". Supercomputer is the wrong answer: "Serbia" instead of Slovenia.

  • antdude Feb 17, 2011

    Good game (Gg), IBM Watson! :)

  • MadameCat Feb 16, 2011

    Go Watson...hehehe...

  • bothcats Feb 16, 2011

    Seriously Tim..... you are a GENIUS!

  • ToddGalloway Feb 16, 2011

    noooo disassamble!

  • antdude Feb 16, 2011

    Hahaha! I wonder if ATREBEK@JEOPARDY.COM works...

  • hakone1 Feb 15, 2011

    Great interview. Maybe I should watch Terminator once again... Just in case.

  • oregon2010 Feb 15, 2011

    haha! awesome! It was great to get to know you Watson.