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Supercomputer 'Watson' Beats Havard and MIT at Jeopardy!

IBM's super-intelligent Watson computer has beaten Harvard and MIT business students in a game of Jeopardy!

The Jeopardy! contest, in which real money was not at stake, engaged teams from MIT Sloan School of Management and the Harvard Business School to compete against Watson, which had previously beaten Jeopardy! winners Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.

The team from MIT was beaten mercilessly by those from HBS, but both had no chance against the supercomputer, whose use is being considered for hospitals to help diagnose problems.

Interestingly, the HBS team had come close to beating Watson, but lost in the end. The teams were not pitied against Watson directly, as the computer's responses were recorded earlier. However, the entire game was played in real-time.

According to the MIT tech blog (opens in new tab), at the end of the game, Watson came in first with $53,601 followed by Harvard with $42,399 and MIT with a measly $100.

Before the final Jeopardy! question, which decided the outcome of the game, Harvard was behind Watson by only $1,800.

"Initially, both MIT and Harvard had problems with timing answers correctly (buzzing in at an unsuitable time leads to being "locked out"). Watson, however, benefited from computer-precise timing (MIT's timing problems continued throughout the match)," the MIT blog read.