Inside Watson, IBM's Jeopardy Computer - InformationWeek

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1/24/2011
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Inside Watson, IBM's Jeopardy Computer

IBM has spent four years and untold hundreds of millions of dollars developing Watson, a computer that can play Jeopardy. In fact, Watson answers questions so quickly and accurately that IBM challenged Jeopardy and two of the show's all-time champions to a match. Jeopardy's producers and the human contestants agreed. Taping took place January 14, and the three computer-vs.-human episodes will air February 14-16. Cynics may call it a publicity stunt, but the project has brought real advances in c
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"The hard part for the computer is finding and justifying the correct answer," says Dr. David Ferrucci, the "Principal Investigator" at IBM Research who led the Watson project. "For each of thousand of plausible answers, Watson gathers evidence and uses thousands of algorithms to understand what's most likely to be the right answer." Most of the effort in the four-year project involved developing the algorithms.

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