You might or might not have heard of the super, mega computer that IBM put together over the last few years with the name of Watson. Watson is in the news lately because it is currently taking on past champions of the game show Jeopardy. And doing quite well. It recently took down famed champs Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings last month during a practice round. And of February 14-16th, Watson will take on these two on air for all the world to see. So what makes Watson so smart? Imagine a computer the size of 10 refrigerators. Imagine a computer that has the computing power of a 1000 laptops. If you can, you might get close to what Watson can do. Watson, is four years in the making, with the express goal of having the computing power to think as fast as a human, and be able to understand the subtle differences in the human language. Like bat (as in baseball) and bat (as in furry flying mouse) for example. And while the computer is not without faults (it has trouble with word problems and puns) it is sure to be an epic match of wits as IBM continues to push the limits of super computing.
CNN recently did an interview with author Stephen Baker whom is writing a book entitled “Final Jeopardy” about the creation of Watson. A transcript of the interview can be found here.