The IBM super-computer Watson that obliterated its human competition on the trivia show Jeopardy last night has one more chance to humiliate the species tonight. Game designer Frank Lantz, however, believes we can strike back at Jeopardy-winning machines.
"It's all about the buzzer," Lantz wrote on Twitter. "Watson has some kind of built in buzz delay, improve your buzz speed to beat him every time and play a straight control/denial game. This would be a form of soft collusion but so what, that's what humans are good at, that's what Watson IS afterall."
I like Lantz and I like the games that his company — Area/Code, now a part of FarmVille studio Zynga — makes. Area/Code's Drop7 is my most-played iPhone game. So I'm into this. IBM programs its Watson computer to win at Jeopardy. The Jeopardy people pit Watson against two of Jeopardy's contestants. Watson beats them (as it did last night, despite whiffing the Final Jeopardy round), and then a game designer swoops in with a solution that is essentially a breaking of the Jeopardy system, albeit not a breaking of the Jeopardy rules.