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).
Because of the show — and Trebek’s — longevity, the show has seen all kinds of technology come and go in popularity.
This includes going back to the days of the Walkman and the VCR.
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.)
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.
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.