IBM's Watson system beat two former Jeopardy! game show champions on television February 14-16, 2011. Details of the Match in the NY Times story Computer Wins on Jeopardy!: Trivial, It's Not. (Feb. 17, 2011).
Overview article on some technical aspects of the Watson program.
IBM Research undertook a challenge to build a computer system that could compete at the human champion level in real time on the American TV quiz show, Jeopardy. The extent of the challenge includes fielding a real-time automatic contestant on the show, not merely a laboratory exercise. The Jeopardy Challenge helped us address requirements that led to the design of the DeepQA architecture and the implementation of Watson. After three years of intense research and development by a core team of about 20 researchers, Watson is performing at human expert levels in terms of precision, confidence, and speed at the Jeopardy quiz show. Our results strongly suggest that DeepQA is an effective and extensible architecture that can be used as a foundation for combining, deploying, evaluating, and advancing a wide range of algorithmic techniques to rapidly advance the field of question answering (QA).
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) researchers spent four years developing Watson, the computer smart enough to beat the champions of the quiz show “Jeopardy!” Now they’re trying to figure out how to get those capabilities into the phone in your pocket.Bernie Meyerson, IBM’s vice president of innovation, envisions a voice-activated Watson that answers questions, like a supercharged version of Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Siri personal assistant. A farmer could stand in a field and ask his phone, “When should I plant my corn?” He would get a reply in seconds, based on location data, historical trends and scientific studies.
Finding additional uses for Watson is part of IBM’s plan to tap new markets and boost revenue from business analytics to $16 billion by 2015. After mastering history and pop culture for its “Jeopardy!” appearance, the system is crunching financial information for Citigroup Inc. and cancer data for WellPoint Inc. The next version, dubbed “Watson 2.0,” would be energy- efficient enough to work on smartphones and tablets.
Employees at IBM Research explain the hardware in the IBM Watson computer, which defeated two past grand-champions at the TV quiz show Jeopardy! and is now being used for medical, financial and call center applications. A key piece: 15 trillion bytes of memory that's required to enable Watson to answer questions in a matter of seconds.
Earlier this month, the nation watched as Watson, a computer system designed by IBM, drubbed the two all time champions of Jeopardy. Journalist Stephen Baker spent a year behind the scenes, as the team of IBM engineers struggled to design and build Watson in time for the show. He tells the story of project Watson, and what it means for the future, in his new book, "Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything." He and Gareth Cook, the editor of Mind Matters, discussed Watson and artificial intelligence. BAKER: It’s true, the early visions of AI never delivered.
... The contest, which was taped in January here at the company's T. J. Watson Research Laboratory before an audience of I.B.M. executives and company clients, played out in three televised episodes concluding Wednesday. At the end of the first day, Watson was in a tie with Brad Rutter, another ace human player, at $5,000 each, with Mr. Jennings trailing with $2,000. But on the second day, Watson went on a tear. By night's end, Watson had a commanding lead with a total of $35,734, compared with Mr. Rutter's $10,400 and Mr. Jennings' $4,800. But victory was not cemented until late in the third match, when Watson was in Nonfiction. "Same category for $1,200" it said in a manufactured tenor, and lucked into a Daily Double. Mr. Jennings grimaced. Even later in the match, however, had Mr. Jennings won another key Daily Double it might have come down to Final Jeopardy, I.B.M. researchers acknowledged. The final tally was $77,147 to Mr. Jenning's $24,000 and Mr. Rutter';s $21,600.
(CNN)-- His name is Watson. And, next week, he willcompete on the game show "Jeopardy!"against real, live, breathing, thinking humans. The "Watson" IBM computer, which has been in development for four years, will be matched against Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings, two of Jeopardy's champions. On a technical level, what did IBM do to accomplish that?
I.B.M.’s groundbreaking question-answering system, running on roughly 2,500 parallel processor cores, each able to perform up to 33 billion operations a second, is playing a pair of “Jeopardy!” matches against the show’s top two living players, to be aired on Feb. 14, 15 and 16. ... Should Watson win next week, the news will be everywhere. We’ll stand in awe of our latest magnificent machine, for a season or two. For a while, we’ll have exactly the gadget we need. Then we’ll get needy again, looking for a newer, stronger, longer lever, for the next larger world to move.
IBM's Watson, the Jeopardy!-playing supercomputer that scored one for Team Robot Overlord two years ago, just put out its shingle as a doctor or, more specifically, as a combination lung cancer specialist and expert in the arcane branch of health insurance known as utilization management. Thanks to a business partnership among IBM, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and WellPoint, health care providers will now be able to tap Watson's expertise in deciding how to treat patients.
Jeopardy! challenges even the best human minds. Can a computer win the game? Good background on events leading up to Watson's appearance on the TV show. Brief interviews with several leading AI scientists.
David Ferrucci of IBM discusses the DeepQA Project; the technology and architecture behind IBM's newest technological innovation, the question answering and natural language processing system, Watson.
Interviews with Ray Mooney, Jerry Hobbes, and other AI scientists about the Watson program designed at IBM to compete in the game of Jeopardy.