IBM’s Watson Delivers, but His Web Site Doesn’t

Thus far the IBM Watson supercomputer seems to be able to beat the best humans in Jeopardy. But his web site isn’t faring nearly as well. The web site hosting IBM’s post-match commentary blog,, was experiencing availability problems Tuesday evening, even as IBM was using its Twitter feeds to drive traffic to the site. Curiously, appears to be hosted at Media Temple, a Los Angeles web host used by many leading blog sites, instead of on IBM servers.

Thus, some Twitter users trying to read an analysis from IBM researcher David Ferrucci about Watson’s curious wrong answer during Final Jeopardy (Toronto?) instead got an “unable to connect” message. The IBM blog came back online by about 8:45 p.m Eastern time (the Jeopardy broadcast ended at 7:30 pm Eastern).

The web site glitch is unlikely to spoil what must be a heady moment for Big Blue, as Watson dominated the second day of matches on Jeopardy. The human champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, get their final crack at Watson on Wednesday evening’s broadcast of Jeopardy. Can Ken and Brad bounce back? Or is it time to admit defeat at the hands of our new robotic game show overlord? Go to our online poll and vote.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. Don Wellington

    Wtson has an advantage. He "sees" the text immediately while the "humans" wait for it to be posted and read. Need to change so Watson doesn't see text until question is read to give a fair playing field.

  2. Alienkid

    Watson = Skynet 0_o

  3. Yay. Skynet is being born right before our eyes.

  4. Morgan

    Watson doesn't have voice recognition. He's impressive, but they fell far short of what they should have been aiming for if they wanted a real competition between a human and robot. When they get the machine to HEAR, understand, reason, and respond it will be a true victory.

  5. Lars

    I agree with Don. You could clearly see frustration in Ken's eyes as he mashed the button only to be outdone by Watson's probably-instantaneous click as soon as the text is shown.

  6. ~m

    Watson: "Sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you do that." Alex Trebek: "Oooh, no I'm sorry. You didn't phrase that in the form of a question."

  7. Bill

    Humans don't have to wait for Alex either. The actual thing is the timing on pressing the button. You have to wait till Alex finishes reading and the off-stage guy triggers the "OK to click" signal. Watson instantaneously reacts to that signal. The humans have a reaction time. They all may know the answer, its the button click that is the thing.

  8. Arthur Dent

    Watson slaughtered the puny humans. DEATH TO HUMANS!

  9. I want a IBM Watson supercomputer. I want one soo bad. I could barack encryption like a hot knife through butter with something like that.

  10. Even I am looking forward to get that.

  11. IBM has always introduce best products whatever it but it is the best