IBM Robot, “Watson” to Appear as a Contestant on Jeopardy

April 28, 2009

(ChattahBox)—IBM plans to create a computer, dubbed, “Watson” that the computer giant says will be able to intelligently analyze questions put to it and provide correct answers, perhaps beating out a human Jeopardy contestant. But will Watson be able to answer in Jeopardy’s “What is” format?¬† IBM thinks so.

IBM is hoping to match the former success of the IBM’s “Deep Blue” computer, which famously beat Russian chess master Garry Kasparov in a much publicized chess match in 1997.

Watson has a hard task ahead of it. Not only will it be required to provide correct answers, Watson first has to be able decipher the questions and syntactic relations which will include puns and commonly used slang terms. IBM says Watson will be able to perform all of that complicated processing in less than a second, which is the reaction time of “Jeopardy” players.

Watson won’t be connected to the Internet, having to rely on its database to come up with the answers. Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM’s chairman, president and CEO, is passionate about the Watson project, saying it shows how computers “…can infuse business and societal systems with intelligence.” Palmisano said IBM is committed to solving the “grand challenges” presented by modern technology and science

Watson’s ability to actually intuit a question, parallels the future of Internet search engines, like Google, which are moving towards a more advanced intuitive process, as well as matching keywords.

Sorting through reams of data to find the correct answer requires a high level of skill in what’s called, “business intelligence,” and Watson is said to have that ability.

IBM plans to schedule Watson on an appearance of Jeopardy soon. Now that will be a show to watch and who will be the “lucky” contestants chosen to compete against a computer.

I have one question: How will Watson hit the Jeopardy buzzer with the lightening speed required of human contestants?



2 Responses to “IBM Robot, “Watson” to Appear as a Contestant on Jeopardy”

  1. LasVegasTVShow on April 28th, 2009 4:31 pm

    Great reading, thanks for the info.

  2. Forget HAL 9000. Beware: Paro « Elevator "Door Close" Buttons Do NOT Work… on July 6th, 2010 9:31 am

    […] not an easy task. Yes, robots can play chess — and beat humans, but seems they can now even win at¬†Jeopardy!, a game requiring much verbal logic…Although he may lead the revolution in taking over the […]

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