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[NPR]Man vs. Machine: IBM supercomputer "Watson" vs Jeopardy! champions

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 
http://www.npr.org/2011/02/14/133697...s-this-machine
Quote:
The greatest Jeopardy! champions of all time are returning to the TV screen, and this time they're not playing just for money — they're playing for all of humanity.

That's because they'll be competing against Watson, a computer system built by IBM to prove that machines can master the kind of tricky human language featured on the quiz show, where confusing clues often involve puns, jokes and wordplay.

...

To aid in this struggle, Watson's creators gave it awesome speed and memory. It searches through some 200 million pages of reference material — everything from the Bible to encyclopedias to novels — looking for the words or phrases in the Jeopardy! clue and seeing what other words are frequently associated with them on these pages.

...

Artificial intelligence experts say that even with the occasional error, Watson has what it takes to perform very well against humanity's best. Etzioni expects to see a Watson win in the competition, which will air Feb. 14, 15 and 16.
DAY 1 on Jeopardy!





Quote:
IBM's Watson computer system competes in a Jeopardy! practice round on Jan. 13 against two of the show's most celebrated contestants: Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.



Quote:
Watson is made up of 10 refrigerator-sized racks of computers. It has around a million books in its memory, and it's around 32,000 times faster than a laptop.

"Watson" in action during practice a few days ago:

GO HUMANS!

I've never been this excited to watch a Jeopardy! episode since...ever.

Another video in action against Jennings and Rutter:

Edited by nist7 - 2/14/11 at 9:53pm
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post #2 of 86
Instant,perfect answers TRON soon!
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post #3 of 86
wouldnt defeat me
:3
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post #4 of 86
32,000 times faster than a laptop? Would that laptop be like an EeePC, or would it be a G73 with the i7?
post #5 of 86
There was a pbs nova episode about this 2 weeks ago (not to say that this news post is out of date). I just mention this because they explained it well and you can watch the episode online. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/sm...-on-earth.html

As far as who I would prefer to see win, I'm not sure. I can't decide if I want to see the amazing advances in technology or that humans still trump machines. I do hope it's a close game; I would hate to see it being a massacre either way.
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post #6 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus2129 View Post
32,000 times faster than a laptop? Would that laptop be like an EeePC, or would it be a G73 with the i7?
Not sure what the exact specs are (maybe an IBM corporate secret) for the supercomputer but it's probably 32,000 times the average laptop, so somewhere between a EeePC and a mobile Core i7. But even if you stacked up against a Core i7 (hell a 990X even) it'll probably still be tens of thousands of times faster than any single commercial/server chip.
Edited by nist7 - 2/14/11 at 8:07am
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post #7 of 86
Meh its just a publicity stunt to get them more viewers... Lame.
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post #8 of 86
I wonder if the computer has an input advantage on the "clicker"/"buzzer"? It seemed like Jennings often had an answer and clicked extremely fast but had no chance whenever "Watson" had more than 90% probability on an answer (which caused it to answer pretty much instantly).
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post #9 of 86
The machine will win.

Here's an interview with a guy who went up against it and was savagely beaten down.
Oh man, that thing is a BEAST!

Quote:
How do I know Watson will win? Because I played two rounds against the “world’s smartest machine” last week and lost badly. The other human contestant was A.J., a private-equity megamind with a tweed blazer and multiple degrees from Ivy League institutions. Him I could handle. Watson, though, was OFF-THE-HOOK good. It claimed more than $30,000 in winnings each time. IBM said I was the only writer to have played against the machine. Ego-wise, a bittersweet scoop.
http://blogs.forbes.com/bruceupbin/2...uter-will-win/
post #10 of 86
Surely we can think of something more productive to do with this behemoth of computing power. Maybe some science type guys can do something with it.

I think this computer is gathering intel on the humans for a skynet type takeover. We should take it out while we still can.
Edited by Ding Chavez - 2/14/11 at 8:50am
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