Final Jeopardy: What Is The Humans Were No Match

Posted by Eric Torres

Feb 16, 2011 8:10:00 PM

Did anybody really think the humans were going to beat IBM’s Supercomputer, Watson, in a battle of wits? I sure didn’t. No matter how smart the famously previous Jeopardy! Champions Brad Rutter or Ken Jennings thought they were, they were no match for the smarts of a cluster of hard drives, processors and the occasional wrong answer of IBMS latest creation. With a strong third day of playing and a staggering bid on Final Jeopardy, Wednesday night’s game ended with Watson raking in a whopping $77,147. Runners up Jennings ($24,000 total) and Brad Rutter ($21,600) were clearly outmatched.

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Topics: IBM

Man vs. IBM Supercomputer on Jeopardy! Round 1

Posted by Eric Torres

Feb 15, 2011 9:03:00 AM

Remember back in 1997 when IBM's chess-playing supercomputer Deep Blue famously beat then world champion Garry Kasparov in a highly publicized match? The event was symbolic in that it showed that computers could outsmart humans at a game once Watson postconsidered too intellectually challenging for a machine to master. Even so, chess is a game with well-defined rules and limits. Fast forward 14 years and the wait is over. After months of hype, last night it was Man versus Machine on Jeopardy!, as IBM’s “Watson” supercomputer took on the greatest champions in the game show’s history, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.

Watson -- named for IBM founder Thomas J. Watson --  is not just a souped up desktop PC. Instead, it’s powerful array of computers running on IBM’s POWER7 processors provide the lightning-quick response time and growing parade of trivial information. IBM has revealed that the Artificial Intelligence program is housed in a cluster of 90 IBM Power 750 servers, occupying 10 racks, which is the part of the machine you see on the show. There are 2,880 POWER7 processor cores in all — spread across 3.5 GHz POWER7 octo-core CPUs — and 16TB of RAM. Whoa, slow down, what does that mean? In this language we call English...this is one HUGE, super-fast computer.  

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Topics: IBM

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