Quiz Bowl: QANTA vs. Ken Jennings

Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings and cutting-edge quiz-playing AI QANTA go head-to-CPU in quiz bowl

UW Computer Science and Engineering is pleased to host an event for both trivia aficionados and those interested in artificial intelligence: a quiz bowl match pitting a computer against the most successful Jeopardy! player of all time.

On Friday evening, a team of researchers will debut its computerized question-answering system (QANTA) in a tossup-only competition against Ken Jennings. Unlike other question answering systems that are allowed to see the entire question at once (e.g., IBM Watson, which previously defeated Ken Jennings on Jeopardy!), this system decides when it has enough information to answer a question and is thus able to handle quiz bowl-style tossup questions.

Prior to the exhibition game, Prof. Jordan Boyd-Graber of the University of Colorado at Boulder, one of QANTA's developers, will briefly discuss the state-of-the-art machine learning research that went into the system and how interested students can get involved by using and improving the open-source system.

Ken Jennings, a former UW student, in addition to shattering American game show records, is a best-selling author and pop culture phenomenon who lives in Seattle, Washington. Some technical papers on the QANTA system are here, here, and here. Event details:

  • Who should come: High school and University students are encouraged to attend, it's open to the general public, all ages are welcome
  • Where: UW Seattle Campus, Kane Hall Room 120
  • Date: October 2, 4pm start time,  you need to be checked in by 3:45 to guarantee your spot
  • Timing: The event will last from approximately 4pm to 5pm.
  • RSVP: Everyone must RSVP to guarantee space at the event. If you are checked in by 3:45, you will have your space guaranteed, otherwise, we'll take first come first served at 3:50pm. At this point in time we have closed the guaranteed seating. We expect a certain % of no shows, but we are expecting a full house. We apologize in advance if we can't get everyone in.
  • Parking: We encourage people to bus to campus, but if you need to park, please read the information on the UW Parking page.