- You'll save an extra 5% on Books purchased from Amazon.ca, now through July 29th. No code necessary, discount applied at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)
Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything Hardcover – Mar 1 2011
Special Offers and Product Promotions
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The book is the place to go if you're really interested in this version of the quest for creating Artificial Intelligence (AI)
.lively" - Seattle Times
"Baker skillfully weaves the two threads of the story together, and the book contains many passages that make the reader not only assess what they think but how they think, and how they have absorbed and stored the knowledge they possess. It's books like this that remind us there is still so much we don't understand about our own brains, and that the journey of discovery has only just begun." -Culture Mob
"Baker's narrative is both charming and terrifying an entertaining romp through the field of artificial intelligence - and a sobering glimpse of things to come." -STARRED, Publishers Weekly
From the Inside Flap
The thrilling story of the computer that can play Jeopardy! Alex Trebek: Meet Watson. For centuries, people have dreamed of creating a machine that thinks like a human. Scientists have made progress: computers can now beat chess grandmasters and help prevent terrorist attacks. Yet we still await a machine that exhibits the rich complexity of human thought -- one that doesn't just crunch numbers, or take us to a relevant Web page, but understands us and gives us what we need. That vision has driven a team of engineers at IBM. Over three years, they created "Watson" and prepared it for a showdown on "Jeopardy!, "where it would take on two of the game's all-time champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, in a nationally televised event. "Final Jeopardy "is the entertaining, illuminating story of that computer and that epic match. It's a classic tale of Man vs. Machine. Like its human competitors, Watson has to understand language, including puns and irony, and master everything from history, literature, and science to arts, entertainment, and game strategy. After years of training, Watson can find the scrambled state capital in "Hair Gel" ("What is Raleigh?") and even come up with the facial accessory that made Moshe Dayan recognizable worldwide ("What is an eye patch?"). Watson may just be the smartest machine on earth."" "Final Jeopardy "traces the arc of Watson's "life," from its birth in the IBM labs to its big night on the podium. We meet Hollywood moguls and "Jeopardy! "masters, genius computer programmers and ambitious scientists, including Watson's eccentric creator, David Ferrucci. We gain access to Ferrucci's War Room, where the IBM team works tirelessly to boost Watson's speed to the buzzer, improve its performance in "train wreck" categories (such as "Books in Espanol"), and fix glitches like the speech defect Watson developed during its testing phase, when it started adding a "d "to words ending in "n "("What is Pakistand?"). Much is at stake, especially for IBM. A new generation of Watsons could transform medicine, the law, marketing, even science itself, as machines process huge amounts of data at lightning speed, answer our questions, and possibly come up with new hypotheses. Showdown aside, it's clear that the future has arrived. But with it come questions: Where does it leave humans? What will Watson's heirs be capable of in ten or twenty years? Is it time to declare defeat in the realm of facts? What should we teach our children? And what should we carry around in our own heads?"" "Final Jeopardy "takes on these questions and more in a narrative that's as fast and fun as the game itself. Baker shows us how smart machines will fit into our world -- and how they'll disrupt it. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Stephen Baker does an excellent job in Final Jeopardy tracing the history of Watson from his conception to the climactic match where he faces off with two of the greatest Jeopardy champions of all time.
The book is a story about Watson and the team that developed him. It does not go in-depth into the programming and algorithms at work in Watson's 'brain', but it certainly covers all of the ups and downs of his development in enough detail to satisfy the curiosity of most Jeopardy fans. It is highly readable, engaging, and occasionally funny; I would heartily recommend Final Jeopardy to anyone who loves the game and is fascinated by the engineering feat that has become known as Watson.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I love what Baker's publisher has done with the Kindle version of this book - making the first 11 chapters available well before the showdown Jeopardy match airs on Feb. 14-15-16. After the actual match took place, in great secrecy, Baker wrote the final chapter of his book, which will arrive as a Kindle download the day after the final match, when the hardcover will also be available, with all the chapters. This is a fantastic use of e-book technology, so bravo to Houghton Mifflin for such a clever and Kindle-friendly innovation.
It is written fantastically and is fun to read, but it does not go into the technology too much, which is what I was looking for. Still, I enjoyed reading and learning. I had no idea how many problems there were with both the technology and the business aspect of the program. The book goes into the areas of logic and AI as well, and gives some history of IBM and its chess-playing computer of the past.
Anyone who's looking for a nice, easy read should take a look at this book. Techies: It probably won't fill your needs in terms of describing the technology, but it's still fun to read. There isn't any other source as complete as this on Watson. Take a look!
I attribute all of that to Baker's remarkable story-telling and character-developing abilities, which enabled him to craft an engaging narrative about a labyrinthine project and esoteric subject matter that might easily have confounded the non-engineers among us. The most richly developed character was Watson him/her/itself, not through any cutesy, artificial anthropomorphism, but though a mosaic of triumphs and setbacks that seemed to transcend the IBM team that created it.
Baker managed to put it all in a context that enables us to grasp the potential of Watson and the computer systems that will follow it, so that we can appreciate that what might on the surface have appeared to be little more than self-indulgent technological gimmickry was actually a quest to improve people's lives in ways that could only be vaguely imagined in the very recent past. Watson, in the end, is a proof of concept that will ultimately benefit us all. Its creation is an uplifting tale, and one that warranted a gifted writer to tell it. It's fortunate that Baker rose to that occasion.
In this book, you mostly get the story of the event and background of the people involved with Watson. It was a quick read... may be because I read the book after watching the documentary and the Jeopardy! contest. I would have liked to more details of Watson itself... Even the book on Manhattan project contained more details. There could have been bit more discussion on implications of this technology.. there's only cursory discussion on this.
Too much story, not enough (on) software
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Computers & Technology > Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence > Applications
- Books > Computers & Technology > Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence > Human Vision & Language Systems
- Books > Computers & Technology > Computer Science > Human-Computer Interaction
- Books > Computers & Technology > History & Culture > History
- Books > Science & Math > History & Philosophy > History of Science
- Books > Science & Math > Technology
- Books > Textbooks > Computer Science & Information Systems > Artificial Intelligence
- Books > Textbooks > Sciences