Summary:

A new site turns 30-years of Jeopardy into a N-gram viewer.

Watson schooling Jeopardy champions. Source: IBM
photo: IBM

Alex Trebek became the host of Jeopardy the same year Mark Zuckerberg was born. What is 1984?

Thanks to the Internet and some n-gram-style analytics, we have a better picture of how technology has increasingly become a subject on the daytime game show — and how Mark Zuckerberg has become a popular question topic. More than 256,000 clues asked during Trebek’s reign as host of the quiz show, which turns 50 this week, are stored online by devoted fans on the J-archive.

A new website, called J-grams, takes the clues from the J-archive and searches them by keyword to show the popularity of certain terms over time. I took a look at how technology has slowly become a more important part of the show (as seen below).

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Because of the show — and Trebek’s — longevity, the show has seen all kinds of technology come and go in popularity.

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This includes going back to the days of the Walkman and the VCR.

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Bill Gates is the most asked-about tech CEO, with Steve Jobs trailing close behind. (And as Time discovered, Abraham Lincoln is now tied with the iPod.)

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The charts also include links to some of the questions asked for each category. In this game from Sept. 18, 2007, the answer to a $1,000 question about Sergey Brin was Google.

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Jeopardy already embraced tech when it invited IBM’s Watson to compete on the show. Now we have proof in the questions that knowing a bit about iPods and Bill Gates might help too.

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