Sunday, February 13, 2011

Man vs. Computer - The Jeopardy Challange

Tomorrow may be Valentine's Day, but it's also the day that an IBM supercomputer named Watson will have his day playing Jeopardy with the game's 2 all-time money winners, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Watson comes well prepared, with 90 servers working in tandem, connected to 15 Terabytes of data storage. The game is one of speed, knowledge, parsing capabilities, and judgement. For judgement, Watson will need to know when he's not sure enough to buzz-in, since wrong answers count against you. Learn about Watson on the website. Watson is named after Thomas J. Watson who founded IBM 100 years ago.

The last IBM computer vs man challenge was in 1997 when Deep Blue ultimately beat Gary Kasparov in chess.  This time, the challenge will last across 3 shows, for a purse of $1.5M. The winner gets $1M. Of note, any money Watson wins as part of this challenge will be donated to charity.  Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter have pledged half their winnings to charity.

Watch Watson tomorrow, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 7:30 PM on WBZ in Boston. For other stations and times, go to My 'first' career was 32 years at IBM, working the later years in marketing of IBM's linux based servers.  Go Watson!

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