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IBM showcase technology behind quiz supercomputer

Last week KitGuru reported on the fascinating new computer from IBM nicknamed ‘Watson’ which trashed two of Jeopardy’s greatest human players this week. Not only that, but it earned more than both of the human players put together.

Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings earned $21,600 and $24,000 respectively, while IBM’s Watson stormed ahead with $77,147. Its ability to handle the complex human language and feed back correct responses in a manner of seconds proved too much for the human players.

Thinking ahead: The Watson Supercomputer

Technology has progressed so rapidly that a few years ago Watson struggled to get 20% of the questions correct, and it took hours to respond, not seconds. This computer has been in the limelight so much lately that IBM’s John Prager, one of the researchers developing Watson’s ability to answer complex questions held a presentation detailing the work he and his colleagues did to the computer into a quiz answering tour de force.

This presentation was followed up by a Q&A session later and Prager says that their next goal is health care. He hopes that Watson’s technology can be used to help diagnose ailments by analyzing huge amounts of data against patient symptoms and queries.

We wonder what Dr House would think?

KitGuru says: This technology is so exciting, and we would expect to see this technology adopted into various sectors, for the benefit of humanity.

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