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IBM’s Super computer, Watson, wins Jeopardy

IBM's Super computer, Watson beat its  human competitors in the gameshow, Jeopardy. This clearly represents advancements in enabling computers to interpret information in human context. Are humans in jeopardy? Read On.

For some time, it seems that the humans would be able to beat Watson as it stumbled on topics such as politics and current affairs. Also, the humans, Rutter and Jennings (Not John Connor, in case you're wondering) had a working strategy of pressing the buzzer first while they figured out questions which involved matching the name of an Actor/Director to the person's movie titles. Alas, Watson bounced back in the later stages to win once again.

While Watson is able to beat us in terms of answering such questions, it is far from being self-aware like Skynet. Instead, IBM intended it to be a super-powered question and answer machine. To construct Watson, IBM used 200 million pages of content stored on 4 terabytes of disk space (Watson does not have Internet access), as much as 16TB of memory, about 2,800 processor cores and approximately 6 million logic rules to determine the best answers. Watson took up 10 server racks, each with 10 IBM Power 750 servers and two large refrigeration units all of which was housed in its own room on IBM's Yorktown Heights campus. At the moment, while Watson is able to 'read' text files through a speaker, it can only receive questions via text files.

Watson's applications are aplenty, as it represents the ability to create computers which are able to interpret information in a human context. Having a huge library of information is one thing, being able to search for the right information automatically based on a question phrased in a human context is far more complex.

Source: PC World

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