IBM’s Watson Supercomputer Defeats Humanity in Jeopardy
Say Hello to your new overlord, Watson. While this is all tongue and cheek, there are going to be some real world implications coming down to road when it come to information. Recently, I was listening to NPR and the piece they were airing was about the size of the Internet.
A study published in the journal “Science” this week takes a shot at the answer. It puts the worldwide total at over 295 exabytes. An exabyte, that’s a number followed by 20 zeros.
Since Watson was programmed with information and data on how to play the Jeopardy, what would happen if Watson was programmed on everything on the Internet? Could this lead the way to Deep Thought, the super computer as read in the pages of Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? If this were to happen and the ultimate question was asked will the answer still be 42?
Honestly, there will be things that Watson would be able to do on a smaller scale when it comes to searching for information. Since Google is the world’s leading search engine, could Watson become the ultimate search engine. in fact, one could come to the conclusion that Watson has the capabilities to dwarf all search engines combined.
I think what’s making Watson successful is its internal architecture. It’s looking at so many different algorithms—thousands of different algorithms—some of them focused on understanding the question, weighting the various terms, looking at the grammar, the syntax, finding the phrases, the keywords, the entities, the dates, the times, trying to understand what it is being asked. And this, in itself, is a big challenge, where we use a variety of different technologies.
Perhaps in my lifetime, the role of a librarian being a patron’s best search engine will be fazed out. Imagine the savings to the county’s budget where it can replace all huMANs working in a library. Well… it will give me a chance to catch up on my reading at least.
by Ben Parr 35
It’s official: The machines are smarter than mankind, at least when it comes to Jeopardy.
IBM supercomputer Watson has emerged victorious against its human competition in a three-day competition between the massively intelligent machine and two of Jeopardy‘s greatest champions: Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.
Yesterday, the competition wasn’t even close, with Watson earning $35,734 and his human competitors earning a combined $15,200. Today though, humanity — specifically Ken Jennings — gave Watson a run for its money. At one point during the third day of competition, Jennings (a 74-time champion) was up $15,000 to Watson’s $11,673.
However, it wasn’t even close in the end; Watson earned a total of $77,147. Jennings collected $24,000 in three days of competition, while Rutter garnered $21,600.