IBM’s supercomputer Watson proved that it’s able to understand human language enough to stomp out the best contestants in Jeopardy history like they were a couple of high school freshmen. Now, it has its sights on a much more meaningful goal. Continue reading
The IBM computer, Watson, has done well over the last two days and is beating its human opponents by over $35,000. What we have not seen, has been the crashes that it reportedly had during the taping.
According to NOVA producer Michael Bicks, Watson had serious performance issues,
He crashed a bunch of times…It took over four hours to tape the show–most of the delays were due to crashes.
Though I know every game show has its pauses, glitches, retakes, makeup snafus, and sneezes, it does seem that the presentation of Watson’s smack-down performance of last night hides a brittle constitution.
Here is a video of Watson in action:
Here is more information about Watson and the team at IBM that helped create it and arrange this competition on Jeopardy.
Having Watson compete on Jeopardy is a great publicity move, however, the other applications this project could enable are truly exciting.
“Beyond Jeopardy, the challenge expands to demonstrating how core open-domain question-and-answer technologies can be quickly and effectively adapted to different business applications,” said Michael Loughran, communications manager at IBM Research. “These applications will demand a deep understanding of users’ questions and analysis of huge volumes of natural-language, structured and semi-structured content to rapidly deliver and justify precise, succinct and high-confidence answers.”
Business applications will include customer relationship management, regulatory compliance, contact centers, help desks, Web self-service, and business intelligence, according to IBM.
Much of the underlying computing is based on the Open Advancement of Question Answering Initiative formed last year by IBM, along with Carnegie Mellon University and other universities.