It’s Jeopardy! My Dear Watson

A quick hit for you while I work on my CES coverage…

IBM has created a super computer called Watson that it will pit against Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a game of Jeopardy! in an attempt to demonstrate some of the most advanced artificial intelligence on the planet.  The three contestants will compete over three shows for a total of $1.5million in prize money.

The reason all this is important is because Watson will have to ‘hear’ the questions just like any other contestant, figure out what is actually being asked, and retrieve the information before his human challengers.  Considering most customer service IVRs can barely figure out when I ask for an operator this is an almost unbelievably daunting task.

I’ve joked previously that voice recognition technology wont be have met customer expectations until it functions like the computer on Star Trek (i.e. understands almost any request in any context) and Watson may be the first real world demonstration of the technology that would eventually get us to a place where no man has traveled before.

Competitor Ken Jennings hit the nail on the head, “… the retrieval process is trivial for a computer and difficult for a human, while the comprehension process is much easier for Ken than Watson.” Once Watson thinks it has figured out what is being asked it will have an answer within milliseconds… The tricky part will be whether or not Watson’s answer is to the right question.

This will be a really fascinating test (and much more understandable than Deep Blue vs. Kasparov).  Click through the articles I’ve provided for more information and I’ll cover this further closer to the airing of the episodes.

via [engadget] and [wired] and [NYT]

Be Sociable, Share!

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress