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IBM's Supercomputer Beats Humans at Jeopardy

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January 17, 2011 12:25:54 AM

Takes the fun out of the game. Everyone hates a know-it-all! ;) 
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January 17, 2011 12:41:04 AM

Ah jeez...the cloud...liquid metal...Predator Drones that select their own targets...now THIS! Skynet, here we come :p 
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January 17, 2011 12:43:20 AM

Elementary, my dear Watson!
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January 17, 2011 12:48:29 AM

Alex: This great website is hosted to provide great knowledge to the IT community, as well a enthusiasts."

*Watson flashed in*

Alex: Watson

Watson: What is Tom's Hardware Guide

Alex: Correct
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January 17, 2011 12:51:36 AM

Seriously im thinking ... sky net .. where is the terminator but yea that would be so useful in so many ways my god the ram alone had to cost about a million bucks thats just nuts.. i think they said like 15 petabytes nuts.. i wonder if it could think up some useful pick up lines for chicks?
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January 17, 2011 12:52:05 AM

I would like to see politicians (lawmakers) replaced by computers and for computers to eventually have civil rights as sentient beings.
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January 17, 2011 12:57:10 AM

or should we say hal from 2001 space movie .. they must feed this thing massive amounts of data i wonder how much hardrive storage is tied into that thing..
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January 17, 2011 1:04:32 AM

I could swear they tried this before and it lost. Oh well good to see they improved it I guess. I'm still not amazed by it however it simply takes key words from the question and if needed uses similar words as possibilities and answers based on what it already "knows" which was put in there by people in the first place. If it was a computer capable of researching and learning on its own to expand its own knowledge then I would be impressed.

I also have a feeling that the show was sort of geared to make it possible for it to answer. As a computer would be incapable of asking certain types of questions for example a question trying to predict a feeling. While certainly not a question worthy a Jeopardy a question like this "If Jake broke up with Jill what are likely emotions Jill would feel?" would likely make Watson stumped yet its so easy for a person to come up with every possibility.

Instead Watson is simply a Encyclopedia that tries to calculate what is the most likely meaning of the question through a search function. So a question like "What is the name of Dorthy's dog in the wizard of Oz?"
would be easily answered by picking up on key words in the sentence and the order that the words appear and picking the most likely answer.
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Anonymous
January 17, 2011 1:13:49 AM

I like ur comment jj43rd about politcians being replaced by computers.

Loll, interesting my friend. have super computers process all the data from districts look at all the economy , social, environmental impacts and pass the best laws based on whats best for the country. Obviously its scary having computers make decisions for us but interesting concept
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January 17, 2011 1:42:54 AM

Does it know it is alive?

Like, if your question would be:

"The best computer at Jeopardy!"

Would it answer: "What is Watson?" or "WHO is Watson?"
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January 17, 2011 2:02:43 AM

I'll be impressed when a machine can beat an athlete at basketball or gymnastics or any event at the Olympics. Only then will I get worried about machines replacing humans. Calculations and playing chess is all mathematical which computers already surpass humans long ago. Machines can barely walk correctly.
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January 17, 2011 2:14:02 AM

15TB OF RAM! WTF
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January 17, 2011 3:11:03 AM

I wonder if this computer is folding?
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January 17, 2011 3:11:21 AM

@nuclearshadow, you do realize it has to analyze speach for puns and weird ways things are said. The speach recognition to understand what is meant is quite impressive to me at least.

And your rant on emotions "If Jake broke up with Jill what are likely emotions Jill would feel?" You do realize that if it can understand the meaning of the speach it would understand this meant they were dating and thus would be able to deduce there are 48 posible emotions to choose from and like us it could swag the most likey and like humans it would probably get it wrong.
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January 17, 2011 3:13:54 AM

2001 nope, 2010, nope 2011 yep! one more step closer to HAL.
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January 17, 2011 3:15:28 AM

"I'm sorry Dave..."
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January 17, 2011 4:17:24 AM

But you cannot beat a Russian IBM!
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January 17, 2011 4:17:52 AM

But you cannot beat a Russian!
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January 17, 2011 4:20:13 AM

...in mother Russia

f watson and Chuck Norris played Jeopardy together, Chuck would win.
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January 17, 2011 4:27:36 AM

Alex* "What is a malicious person in society termed?"

Watson* "What is a human"

Alex* "...No, that would be a "criminal""

Watson* "...That is not correct Alex...commencing global network takeover now"
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January 17, 2011 4:53:32 AM

Huh... I wonder where Roman Cruz is when you need him. Oh well, it's *pretty* unlikely that IBM's supercomputer will initiate a robot uprising.
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January 17, 2011 5:19:07 AM

Did I hear that right? 15 terrabytes of memory? So is like an ARC serve type setup?
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January 17, 2011 5:29:58 AM

Wait, just 48 emotions? I wonder which one I am feeling now...

Hhhmmmmm
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January 17, 2011 7:56:04 AM

otacon72...but can it beat Crysis

fixed..everyone can play a stupid console port
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January 17, 2011 9:16:12 AM

It's not the computer that's impressive, it's the humans that made it.
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January 17, 2011 10:13:31 AM

But can it remove all the Spam on Toms?
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January 17, 2011 10:19:00 AM

We are far from 15Tb ram computers, unless SSD helps
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January 17, 2011 10:47:39 AM

dogman_1234Takes the fun out of the game. Everyone hates a know-it-all!

In a game, maybe yes, it depends on personality.
Now when you go to you doctor cause you are sick, i'm pretty sure you wont hate a know-it-all medic would you now?!
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January 17, 2011 11:17:21 AM

so we squeeze Watson hardware down to 30-60 watt range and you have the same out put of the human brain doing conscious thought only. all of its unconscious is programing on the and ssd or hdd and core logic. which would have to able to stick in the same 30-60 watt range if it were to compete watt for watt machine vs human. human still victor even know it would woop my ass in jeopardy lol
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January 17, 2011 11:52:33 AM

jamessneed@nuclearshadow, you do realize it has to analyze speach for puns and weird ways things are said. The speach recognition to understand what is meant is quite impressive to me at least.


I doubt its that advanced to be honest any situations that it answers correctly in such cases (and not based on luck) are likely pre-programed in. Also weird ways of saying things would not be a problem as it can
take keywords and if it has to compare those words to make similar words.
This isn't really anything amazing. Does Watson perform this task the best? Absolutely and I will gladly give it that its unmatched but the concept itself is sort of lacking.
Quote:

And your rant on emotions "If Jake broke up with Jill what are likely emotions Jill would feel?" You do realize that if it can understand the meaning of the speach it would understand this meant they were dating and thus would be able to deduce there are 48 posible emotions to choose from and like us it could swag the most likey and like humans it would probably get it wrong.


I truly doubt this. I am willing to bet that it simply answers questions its already geared to know. Also making the very game it won "fixed" in a way. So asking it a random question that does not involve prior knowledge that it would normally be able to just search its database for.
Does it understand speech? Certainly to a great degree but I doubt its capable of actually coming up with its own conclusions through its own research into the question. So in the previous question I am sure it would not answer correctly. What it however can do is answer through what it already knows.

So as another example if I were to ask it. "How do you think Karen and Zoey will feel when I fire them because they didn't realize I found out they are having a office affair and that is against company policy?"

Yeah I just don't see it answering that in any reasonable manner.






Poor Zoey she was a hard working and sweet girl too.
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January 17, 2011 11:56:45 AM

wtf, man!!!!

telling the result before the show's airing a MONTH AWAY!!!!

put up a FREAKIN' spoiler alert or something!!!!!!!
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January 17, 2011 1:02:41 PM

RE:
> icepick314 01/17/2011 2:56 PM
> wtf, man!!!!
>
> telling the result before the show's airing a MONTH AWAY!!!!
>
> put up a FREAKIN' spoiler alert or something!!!!!!!
If you are referring to the Watson $4400, Ken $3400, Brad $1200
game, that was a trial game, held the day before the real game.

I don't think the result of the real game was is in this Toms Hardware
article or the link I give below.

See:
http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=20111011...
> The man versus machine "Jeopardy!" competition will air Feb. 14-16,
> with the two full matches being filmed today in Yorktown.
Dateline on the article is January 14, meaning the trial run was January 13
and the "two full matches" were done on January 15. I don't know
why two matches will take 3 days to air.
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January 17, 2011 2:27:49 PM

watson can listen and understand human speech and talk too. very impressive.
they should make a video of watson talking to a 5 year old. wonder where the
conversation would lead to.
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January 17, 2011 5:52:37 PM

very interesting, I couldn't beat it for sure even if it missed 75% of the questions like when it first was being tested
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January 17, 2011 8:35:05 PM

superstar4410I like ur comment jj43rd about politcians being replaced by computers.Loll, interesting my friend. have super computers process all the data from districts look at all the economy , social, environmental impacts and pass the best laws based on whats best for the country.

Sounds like the computers in one of Isaac Asimov's short stories.
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January 17, 2011 9:58:29 PM

cmartin011so we squeeze Watson hardware down to 30-60 watt range and you have the same out put of the human brain doing conscious thought only. all of its unconscious is programing on the and ssd or hdd and core logic. which would have to able to stick in the same 30-60 watt range if it were to compete watt for watt machine vs human. human still victor even know it would woop my ass in jeopardy lol


It's taken 25 years to program my brain to be able to perform as it does today. does that not count as prior, or unconscious programming? Also, watt for watt we would be destroyed. Thing about an atom platform, 4G of ram and however many RAID SSD's could be fit in under 50W. It would be a massacre if it were programmed correctly.
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January 18, 2011 1:09:29 AM

Finally, some funny comments today! :0
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January 18, 2011 1:31:39 AM

I don't get what they are showing here, computers are better at memorizing than humans? because it can click first, and in the time when we are expecting an answer from a normal person it can search it's database and find the answer, phrase it as a question its somewhat impressive but its like putting my rustbucket car up against a drag racer to show that its faster, you still can't drive it around town and get to work with it.
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January 18, 2011 3:31:27 AM

This reminds me of Deep Blue versus Garry Kasparov.
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January 18, 2011 4:06:18 AM

What about buying one of these and let it compete in gamesshows, while I'll just sit back and relax while I count the award money! :) 
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January 18, 2011 7:17:38 AM

It's impressive that a computer can do this (even though it needs a billion Ghz and TB of ram), but putting it on Jeopardy is a novelty more than anything else. Brad or Ken combined can probably answer every question but the computer has the advantage of being able to push the button a millisecond after Alex finishes asking it.

I'm sure in 50 years people will be laughing at this thing and thinking "my cell phone could do that 10 years ago".
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January 18, 2011 1:15:48 PM

It would be good if a day machine take place of Human.
Human are so tared, hypocritical, greedy, nasty, bad, sick, stupid, liar, dishonest, wild, proud, egoistic, etc..
Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064177
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January 18, 2011 8:13:30 PM

Why the hell would Tom's spoil it with no warning? Some of us were looking forward to watching that match up without knowing beforehand. Thanks a lot.
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January 18, 2011 9:19:13 PM

The incredible part of this is not that it knew all the answers, but rather that it knew how to interpret the clues and perform the search through its data store properly. This is a good step toward the voice interface for computers like we saw in Start Trek the Next Generation. I'd love to see that happen. I want that for my computer at home.

Me: (walking in the door after work) "Computer do I have email?"
Computer: "Yes, 2 pieces of spam and a message from your sister. your sister asks if you're coming to her place for your birthday next week."
Me: "Delete the spam and drop my sister a message telling her I will be there if she makes brownies."
Computer: "Ok, Dan. This is done. Should I start World of Warcraft for you so it is ready when you get your dinner ready to eat?"
Me: "Yes, computer, I'm in the mood for healing an instance run tonight. Get me logged in under Eloi and put me in the queue."
Computer: "It will be ready shortly."

I'd love to have my life like that. :) 
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January 20, 2011 2:28:25 AM

So we're at 4GB to 8GB today for most consumers using X nm lithography (for RAM).

If you double that 11 times, you'll reach 16,384 GB (or 16 TB), which also happens to be the ceiling for memory allocation in Java under x64 Kernel based Operating Systems.

To do this we only need to 'chip away' just under 30% of each axis. (0.7 times 0.7 = 0.49 = double the transistor density per layer).

At certain points in production you could increase the number of layers and keep it affordable.

So in about 198 months (or 16.5 years) this kind of hardware become the norm within a 'desktop' personal computer.

That puts it squarely around the second half of 2027.

Hopefully the software will have improved significantly within the next 15 to 20 years!
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