Like the chess-match supercomputer tests from a few years ago, the Watson project has a more obvious consumer element. It seeks to make computing seem more human. Watson, which is known as a Question/Answering system, is a supercomputing project where the computer not only solves complex problems, but can solve them as quickly and accurately as a human. To test the project, IBM has arranged for the supercomputer to compete on the show Jeopardy! at some point. The real test is not whether the computer provides an accurate response in a timely manner, but whether the response seems as though it was uttered by a human in a logical phrase (or as the show dictates, a question).
“The scientists believe that the computing system will be able to understand complex questions and answer with enough precision and speed to compete on Jeopardy!, which is a game demanding knowledge and quick recall, covering a broad range of topics,” says Sara Delekta Galligan, an IBM Research spokesperson.