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An Evangelical Christian Computer?

Watson and Ken Jennings playing Jeopardy!

I haven’t taken the opportunity to watch IBM’s “Watson” computer in its competition on Jeopardy! with two human opponents. Still, I am interested in the process. Here are a few links I read about Watson, and the process. (Here is The New York Times‘ take.)

First, from Get Religion.org (HT: John Fea) comes an article about whether Watson might be evangelical. Watson won $1 million for besting his human competitors. Half of which IBM funneled to its own charity organization, but the other half was donated to World Vision, a Christian relief charity. World Vision helps people in the third world regardless of religion, but does require all of its employees to be Christians. Surely, donating to an evangelical charity does not make one an evangelical, and obviously, I don’t believe that Watson really has a soul (kinda important for salvation …). Still, I wonder who made that call. Perhaps Alex Trebek’s involvement played a role? (see article)


The next article was a really amusing take from Ken Jennings on what it was like to be a human competing against a super-computer opponent. Jennings is somewhat self-deprecating and does offer an interesting take on what must have been a pretty strange feeling.

Finally, here’s a video from IBM about the making of Watson and the preparation for the actual Jeopardy! show. At times Watson’s wrong answers are pretty funny.


Anyone know where I can watch the actual games online since I missed the originals?

One comment on “An Evangelical Christian Computer?

  1. The originals were worth it… not sure where you can find the online.

    One comment Alex made… A reminder that it was HUMANS who created Watson… What does THAT say about the complexity of the human mind?

    One thing I noticed about Watson… “he” did well with pure facts and statistics…but when asked to make the leaps of intuition from obscure categories and plays on words, he didn’t do well at all.. in fact, Jennings ALMOST beat him in the last show because of that…

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