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VIDEO: IBM's Supercomputer to go on Jeopardy!

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 52 comments

Way back in April of 2009, IBM announced plans to build a question answering (QA) computing system with the ability to understand complex questions and answer them with enough precision to compete against humans on Jeopardy!

Last year, Dr. David Ferrucci, leader of the IBM Watson project team, said the system named Watson would have to spend a lot of time studying before it was deemed ready to compete.

"The system would have 'read' many, many natural language texts -- books, reference materials, all kinds of information -- and tried to analyze and organize that information in such a way that it can see the meaning of the question and try to figure out what are likely answers," Ferrucci said.

Though the New York Times reports that Watson will not be appearing on Jeopardy! until this fall, we now have a video of Watson in action. Watch below to see what happens when Watson succeeds, and when he fails.

Watson Goes on Jeopardy!

Read more here.

*Image via The New York Times

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  • 21 Hide
    Parsian , June 17, 2010 9:22 PM
    They should call it HAL-Prototype instead
  • 19 Hide
    proxy711 , June 17, 2010 9:30 PM
    Program it to search Wikipedia /gameover
  • 18 Hide
    ohim , June 17, 2010 9:27 PM
    One step closer to cyberdyne, but this time Arnie won`t be there to be back.
Other Comments
  • 21 Hide
    Parsian , June 17, 2010 9:22 PM
    They should call it HAL-Prototype instead
  • 15 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , June 17, 2010 9:25 PM
    Deeply impressing.
  • 18 Hide
    ohim , June 17, 2010 9:27 PM
    One step closer to cyberdyne, but this time Arnie won`t be there to be back.
  • 19 Hide
    proxy711 , June 17, 2010 9:30 PM
    Program it to search Wikipedia /gameover
  • 6 Hide
    Parsian , June 17, 2010 9:36 PM
    proxy711Program it to search Wikipedia /gameover


    Wolfram Alpha does something similar by looking through vast amount of information to compute an answer
  • 10 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , June 17, 2010 9:39 PM
    ecnovaeca very very expensive machine that does something you could easily do with a laptop, voice recognition software, and google lol.
    Would you mind providing us with an example?
  • 3 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , June 17, 2010 9:40 PM
    sliemIf it runs on Windows, it'll crash in the middle of the game.HAHAH jk, I love Windows. This is nice though, however you can't replace a brain (unless it's a veggy brain or a retard brain).

    Probably runs a customized version of Linux, like all of IBM's super/custom computers.

    And I agree with mlopinto2k1, this is impressive (or at least very interesting)
  • 5 Hide
    tainted_peak , June 17, 2010 9:41 PM
    Think about having one of theses as a tutor or teacher. It would have so many uses in day to day life when questions arise that you can't seem to answer or explain.
  • 11 Hide
    Parsian , June 17, 2010 9:42 PM
    ecnovaeca very very expensive machine that does something you could easily do with a laptop, voice recognition software, and google lol.


    no, the AI has to analyze, verify, search, construct the appropriate answer to the question, then respond accordingly.

    that solution of simply voice recognition, only brings up relevant information but no specific answer
  • -4 Hide
    sickofsoyo , June 17, 2010 9:43 PM
    Is it time to start calling IBM the UAC?
  • 3 Hide
    warezme , June 17, 2010 9:49 PM
    sickofsoyoIs it time to start calling IBM the UAC?

    Only if they build a base on Mars.
  • 17 Hide
    Anonymous , June 17, 2010 10:39 PM
    For the folks saying this is easy they are clearly not understanding the significance of the challenge of answering a naturally spoken question by computer. "It's just a google search" is so far from the truth its not even funny. How many times have you been able to type into google a jeopardy like worded question (often with puns, similies, metaphors and nonsense words) and even anywhere on the first page gotten a direct answer to your question?

    You can't. This computer is taking such a search to the next level, not only is it retrieving all related potential content to the questions potential keywords, but deciphering based on the question what a precise answer should be. Even googles evolved, complex, keyword tagging and searching doesn't come remotely close to what this is attempting to do. Failing to understand that shows a pretty significant ignorance of what computer technology can and can't do as it stands today.

    It is, in fact, on the same level as the way Deep Blue changed the world of cognitive computing after it beat human opponents at chess. They are correct in asserting that this has a same level of significance. Is it true artificial intelligence? No. But you can bet some folks at Google are standing up and taking notice.
  • 3 Hide
    andrewcutter , June 17, 2010 10:47 PM
    NuclearShadowI'm not entirely impressed by this. When it boils down to it all it really does is search its hard drives that has been filled in with information from text books such as encyclopedias. It listens to the question likely takes those words and searches its database while also considers words with similar meanings.For example the words backwards and reverse can often be interchanged with each other and a question or comment can still make perfect sense.This computer is obviously just programmed to consider words similar by definition to help its understanding of what its asked and to find answers. It may have a selection of answers but picks what it chooses to have the highest % of being correct by relevance. I can't help but compare it to a search engine and using a feature like google's "I'm feeling lucky" The only difference between it and a search engine is that it already has data in it rather than having to search the web for it.


    pardon me for saying this but we have an einstein here.... as for me this is the starting of skynet. if you think abt it that way our brain is also a search engine:D 
  • 0 Hide
    joytech22 , June 17, 2010 11:05 PM
    HOLY CRAP! that could be the new teacher of the future! And that teacher wouldn't hesitate or struggle to answer more than one persons question..
  • 6 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , June 17, 2010 11:05 PM
    After Jeopardy Watson will search for Sarah Connor.
  • 0 Hide
    climber , June 17, 2010 11:32 PM
    The leaning tower of super computing.
  • -4 Hide
    kdashjl , June 17, 2010 11:33 PM
    ohimOne step closer to cyberdyne, but this time Arnie won`t be there to be back.


    JasonAkkermanAfter Jeopardy Watson will search for Sarah Connor.months


    i hope cameron save us
  • 0 Hide
    LMF5000 , June 17, 2010 11:57 PM
    proxy711Program it to search Wikipedia /gameover


    That's only part of the challenge. It has to figure out what the host is asking, and then be able to pick out the answer from the article. It comes naturally for humans, but it's very hard to implement in software and needs lots of processing power.
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