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1/24/2011
06:31 PM
Doug Henschen
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Inside Watson, IBM's Jeopardy Computer

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, in the center represented by an Avatar on a computer monitor, will play against Ken Jennings, left, winner of 74-consecutive-games during the 2004-05 season, and Brad Rutter, the $3.26 million all-time-record money winner on Jeopardy. Watson has to trigger a mechanical actuator (seen in front of the monitor) just as the human contestants do when they're ready to offer an answer posed in the form of a question.

SEE ALSO:

What's At Stake In IBM's Jeopardy Challenge?

IBM Empowers Smarter Cities

10 Most Powerful Supercomputers

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