IBM's Watson Wins At Jeopardy

source mashable

Well it seems that machines are smarter than humans, or at least that’s what IBM’s Watson set out to prove during a three day competition on Jeopardy.

IBM built a supercomputer, Watson, to compete against the two top Jeopardy winners, Ken Jennings, a 74 time winner, and Brad Rutter.

Watson earned a total of $77,147 while Jennings and Rutter both earned less than $30,000 a piece.

“I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords,” Jennings humorously scribbled on his video screen.

Despite his winnings there were a few hiccups. Watson stumbled during Monday night's Final Jeopardy segment. The category was US Cities. The answer was: "Its largest airport was named for a World War II hero; its second largest, for a World War II battle." The correct question was “What is Chicago”, referring to O'Hare and Midway. Watson answered, “What is Toronto”. He played it smart though, only wagering $947 or so.  He lost the question but still won the game.

The supercomputer was given a $1 million dollar prize. IBM is donating the winnings to World Vision.

Watson was the result of years of research and development by IBM.  The supercomputer calculates hundreds of algorithms at the same time to parse human language complexities such as puns to find the right answer in its huge database.  The computer is powered by 90 32-core IBM Power 750 Express servers with a total of 16 terabytes of memory.

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