Secondary, my dear Watson

And tertiary - we're speaking spin-offs here

Feb 18th, 2011 | By Paul Moth | Category: Science and Technology

Prospective contestants try out for new 'Jeopardy!'

Not only IBM experienced a boost in the recent series of game shows in which a computer finally beat humans on CBC’s game show ‘Jeopardy!’

The makers of ‘Jeopardy!’ have seen their boat rise with IBM’s in Watson’s win.

Watson is the computer named after IBM’s founder, Thomas J. Watson.

Lindsay Blaise, a spokespromoperson for ‘Jeopardy!’ says “the numbers were much higher than we anticipated,” referring to viewership of the three-night contest between the computer and two former champions of the game. “Actually, they were off the radar.”

Blaise says plans now near completion for a series of special ‘Jeopardy!’ episodes featuring compelling contestants.

“Human versus machine, machine wins has given us the recipe for intriguing match-ups.”

The first proposed contest will see Watson defend its title as the smartest machine against an iPhone and a  Sony Playstation 4.

“We see graphics as being a major attraction in this one,” Blaise says. “Computer graphics have enticed millions of people to pay to see some of the worst movies of all time. Our advertisers like that kind of devotion.”

But Blaise claims other challenges will be just as attractive.

“People love dogs. And they talk about them all the time. ‘My dog is smarter than your dog,’ kind of thing. Imagine a Border Collie, a German Sheppard and a bloodhound in ‘Jeopardy!’ The winner takes on a Shih Tzu and a Jack Russell. Ratings magic!”

The possibilities are endless, she says.

“Interspecies games! Dog versus cat versus homing pigeon!”

Blaise envisions match-ups that will bring in new viewers to ‘Jeopardy!’, people who cannot afford either expensive pets or pricey electronic toys.

“We have a focus group watching a mock game between a ouija board, a Magic 8-ball and a tea-cup. Very promising.”

Competing game show creators have not been blind to the success of the Watson experiment.

One of them is rushing a new game to the CTV network. ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ airs next week.

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