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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Watson can't look things up on the Internet. That would be unfair! Instead, the computer has a fixed, 15-terabyte content store that is "trained" on the equivalent of one million books on diverse topics. The content goes through an analysis stage in which entities such as people, places, things, dates and concepts are marked with meta tags. Search technology retrieves contextually appropriate information quickly, but the real secret behind Watson is its battery of analytic algorithms used to decipher the clue and score the computer's confidence in having the right answer. This application takes two hours to come up with correct answers when running on a single compute node, but that time drops to less than three seconds when running on thousands of nodes available on IBM's massively parallel processing platform.
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.