Colossus (from the film "Colossus: The Forbin Project") and Skynet would be proud. IBM's Watson bested its human competition on Jeopardy easily, as it won the second game of the two game, three day event, adding to its total from its earlier game one win to take home the grand prize of $1 million.
Watson finished with $77,147, with Ken Jennings coming in second with $24,000 and Brad Rutter last with $21,600. Ken Jennings holds the record for most consecutive Jeopardy wins (74). Meanwhile, Rutter holds the record for the most money won on Jeopardy, $3.25 million. Neither of the humans was able to halt Watson's inexorable rise to the championship.
For a time, Ken Jennings had a lead. At one point, he had $15,000 to Watson's $11,673. However, considering the match was a combination of the first game's totals and the second games, even a win of that nature would not have been enough, as Watson came into Day 3 with lead of $35,734 vs. Brad Rutter's $5,400 and Ken Jennings' $2,400.
The biggest advance with Watson is the ability for the program to not just provide answers to easily deciphered questions, artificially constructed in such a manner that the computer can understand them. Instead, Watson was able to take the free form questions provided by Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, decode them into something it code look up in its extensive database, and then pose answer the answer in the "form of a question" as Jeopardy aficionados know is necessary.
Jennings was a good sport, and bowed to the new "Jeopardy" champion. "I for one welcome our new computer overlords," he wrote on his video screen along with his Final Jeopardy answer. That is a quote from an episode of "The Simpsons."
For those who missed the shows, they are currently available on YouTube, although one would expect them to be taken down eventually, if not soon. For now, take a look at the Man vs. Machine Jeopardy IBM Challenge and watch Machine win.