After trouncing people at Jeopardy!, IBM’s supercomputer Watson is all set to take on the bright students from MIT and Harvard as it faces off against them in a trivia match. The competition will be held at the Harvard Business School’s Burden Auditorium, tomorrow, i.e. on 31st of October, 2011. The competition is called the IBM Watson Challenge.
The competition will be preceded by a symposium about Watson’s creation and future of technology at the MIT Media Labs titled The Race Against the Machine: The Future of Tech. The challenge is aimed at showing how technology can change, and is indeed changing, business perspectives, said Professor Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT. The Symposium will also have a keynote address by David Ferucci, the father of Watson.
The competition and a bit of rivalry
Coming to the actual competition, there will be three teams one from MIT Sloan, one from Harvard Business School and the other being Watson fighting it out in the middle. The MIT Sloan team was chosen via playoffs. The Harvard students were chosen by two Jeopardy alumni. Each team has three students. As for Watson, it won’t be the full-fledged version, but a toned down one. IBM assures that it will be just as competitive.
Watson aside, the rivalry between MIT and Harvard will definitely be there. The palpable tension of the friendly competition is evident from the statement by Brynjolfsson, who wants a large number of MIT peers to attend the event, so as not to be outnumbered by the hosts Harvard. As many as 200 MIT students are expected to attend.
The MIT Center for Digital Business is sponsoring the event. We sign off by saying what Brynjolfsson said:
The technology is changing the world.