IBM has spent four years and untold hundreds of millions of dollars developing Watson, a computer that can play Jeopardy. In fact, Watson answers questions so quickly and accurately that IBM challenged Jeopardy and two of the show's all-time champions to a match. Jeopardy's producers and the human contestants agreed. Taping took place January 14, and the three computer-vs.-human episodes will air February 14-16. Cynics may call it a publicity stunt, but the project has brought real advances in c
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Meet Watson, a supercomputer designed to play Jeopardy. Watson is what IBM calls a "deep question and answer" application that runs on 10 racks of commercially available IBM Power 750 Servers. It's essentially a Jeopardy-optimized system on a massively parallel processing (MPP) platform that performs at 80 teraflops, or about 80 trillion operations per second. Watson has a 15-terabyte memory, but it's not a database. Rather, Watson was trained in advance on some 200 million pages of content -- on topics ranging from history and science to politics and pop culture. The resulting content store is based on IBM's (now open source) UIMA (Unstructured Information Management Architecture) with entities such as people, places, things, dates, and concepts meta-tagged for retrieval. When Watson is presented with a Jeopardy clue -- submitted as a text file when the clue is revealed -- search technology retrieves thousand of possible answers. Thousands of algorithms (the real "secret sauce") developed by IBM Research then score the possible answers and measure the confidence in best answer available. If confidence is high, Watson will ring in -- through a mechanical actuator much like the one human contestants use.
The Agile ArchiveWhen it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
2014 Analytics, BI, and Information Management SurveyITís tried for years to simplify data analytics and business intelligence efforts. Have visual analysis tools and Hadoop and NoSQL databases helped? Respondents to our 2014 InformationWeek Analytics, Business Intelligence, and Information Management Survey have a mixed outlook.
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.