Watson Supercomputer Ties in First Jeopardy Game Against Humans
By on February 15th, 2011

IBM_Watson_AvatarValentine’s Day wasn’t all hearts and flowers, as a massive IBM computer faced off against two human opponents on the popular Jeopardy! TV game. IBM has been working on a computer that not only understands human language, but can answer riddles based on it’s ability to search a huge database and determine the most likely answer.

The computer is called Watsonand is made up of 100 IBM Power 750 server units and 15 terabytes of onboard ram. Here’s what IBM said about Watson, just before the first game:

After seven years of research and planning, thousands of hours of testing and over fifty champion-level sparring matches, Watson is finally ready to face the two greatest Jeopardy!champions in history – Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.

This contest is scheduled to run three days, and after the first day, Watson has won $5000, is tied for first place with Brad Rutter, with Ken Jennings in third place, with $2000. At the end of the show, it was obvious that Watson was bright and fast, but he has a few flaws that kept him from running away with a big win.

Here’s a video of the first show. It may not be online long, because it was put up by someone without permission from Jeopardy.

There’s no doubt now, that computers are getting smarter. Many people believe that by 2045, computers will be running the world, and humans will be obsolete. Due to recent discoveries in electronics, I’d be tempted to put the date at 2040. Move aside Big Brother, it’s only a matter of time before Skynet wakes up.

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Author: Clif Sipe Google Profile for Clif Sipe
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Clif Sipe has written and can be contacted at clif@techie-buzz.com.

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