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    IBM’s “Watson” Computing System to Challenge All Time Greatest Jeopardy! Champions
    IBM’s “Watson” Computing System to Challenge All Time Greatest Jeopardy! Champions Starts Tonight

    From:
    IBM Press Room
    February 14, 2011

    When:
    February 14, 15, 16 2011

    Where:
    Jeopardy Check your TV Schedule

    Links:
    IBM Press Room
    More on Watson
    Watson Video
    Jeopardy! miniSite

    The first-ever man vs. machine Jeopardy! competition will air on February 14, 15 and 16, 2011, with two matches being played over three consecutive days.

    Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, was built by a team of IBM scientists who set out to accomplish a grand challenge – build a computing system that rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence. The Jeopardy! format provides the ultimate challenge because the game’s clues involve analyzing subtle meaning, irony, riddles, and other complexities in which humans excel and computers traditionally do not.

    Competing against Watson will be two of the most celebrated players ever to appear on Jeopardy! Ken Jennings broke the Jeopardy! record for the most consecutive games played by winning 74 games in a row during the 2004-2005 season, resulting in winnings of more than $2.5 million. Brad Rutter won the highest cumulative amount ever by a single Jeopardy! player, earning $3,255,102. The total amount is a combination of Rutter’s original appearance in 2002, plus three Tournament wins: the “Tournament of Champions” and the "Million Dollar Masters Tournament" in 2002 and the "Ultimate Tournament of Champions" in 2005.
    The grand prize for this competition will be $1 million with second place earning $300,000 and third place $200,000. Rutter and Jennings will donate 50 percent of their winnings to charity and IBM will donate 100 percent of its winnings to charity.

    "After four years, our scientific team believes that Watson is ready for this challenge based on its ability to rapidly comprehend what the Jeopardy! clue is asking, analyze the information it has access to, come up with precise answers, and develop an accurate confidence in its response,” said Dr. David Ferrucci, the scientist leading the IBM Research team that has created Watson. “Beyond our excitement for the match itself, our team is very motivated by the possibilities that Watson's breakthrough computing capabilities hold for building a smarter planet and helping people in their business tasks and personal lives."

    "We're thrilled that Jeopardy! is considered a benchmark of ultimate knowledge,” said Harry Friedman, Executive Producer of Jeopardy!. “Performing well on Jeopardy! requires a combination of skills, and it will be fascinating to see whether a computer can compete against arguably the two best Jeopardy! players ever."



    Mon, Feb 14, 2011  Permanent link

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    Yissar     Thu, Feb 17, 2011  Permanent link
    After watching the 3 day contest I believe IBM managed a great technological achievement.

    However, I've been finding lots of articles and views connecting Watson to AI / AGI.
    I strongly believe this is not the case here.
    While demonstrating strong language understanding combined with huge knowledge base it shows nothing of the traits of Intelligence.

    So I salute IBM engineers but let's keep a perspective ;)

    I recommend for further reading Ben Goertzel of Humanity+
     http://hplusmagazine.com/2011/02/17/watson-supercharged-search-engine-or-prototype-robot-overlord/#comment-15504 
     
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