HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Elementary, My Dear Watson

Posted March 1, 2011 at 11:08am

While the IBM computing system Watson may be smart enough to beat several Members of Congress at “Jeopardy,” it may not be fit to work on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Rush Holt faced off against the computing system Monday night at the Liaison Hotel. Holt’s take? He thinks Watson could be helpful in the medical and air traffic control fields, but there’s one job he thinks it isn’t smart enough to take on.

“I doubt if a computer will be replacing a Congressional staffer anytime soon,” the New Jersey Democrat said.

Holt actually beat Watson, $8,600 to $6,200 after one round, though no actual money was awarded. Rep. Jared Polis wasn’t so lucky. The Colorado Democrat lost to the computer by a whopping $15,700.

“I hope he doesn’t run against me for Congress,” Polis joked after the game.

Polis wasn’t the only lawmaker to lose to the computing system. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Harvard graduate and Rhodes scholar Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) also got trounced by Watson.

The event, hosted by IBM, was held to raise awareness about how technology can positively affect our society and also to encourage an increased focus on math and science education.