LONDON, January 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With a famous showdown between man and machine looming, bookmakers are sad to report that IBM's Computer, known as Watson, is the odds-on favorite to beat both Jeopardy champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. IBM's supercomputer, Watson, will compete in an edition of the popular US quiz show Jeopardy next month for a prize of USD$1m (GBP634,000). 

Ken Jennings, who once won 74 Jeopardy games in a row, is the 5/2 to win the show that will be screened over three days from February 14-16.

Brad Rutter, who scored the most money with winnings of more than $3m, is also a 5/2 chance.

 Jeopardy is seen as a challenge in the artificial intelligence world because the game's clues involve analyzing subtle meanings, irony, riddles and other complexities where humans excel and machines do not. bet:

IBM's Watson: 5/6

Ken Jennings: 5/2

Brad Rutter: 5/2 

How would betters have handicapped 1990s showdowns between machines and chess grandmasters?  Likely the same way.   They use algorithms to optimize odds so that there is a 50/50 split among bettors which means they have to believe computers are better than people.  Or at least faster.    Watson's 80 teraflops mean it can analyze a question and find an answer in 3 seconds, something that would take an ordinary computer 2 hours to do.