If you were to ask me what I want to do – I don’t want to be a celebrity, I want to make a difference.
— Lady Gaga
If you are like most people, the first time you heard about IBM’s Watson was on TV’s Jeopardy. On February 14, 2011, Watson took on Jeopardy’s two most successful contestants, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, to see who was smarter – man or machine. After two exciting matches, Watson bested the two and walked away with one million dollars (which IBM subsequently donated to charity).
While some might look upon this as merely entertainment, the fact that a computer could beat a human at this kind of game was revolutionary. Unlike computer vs. human chess tournaments, playing Jeopardy isn’t simply a matter of investigating possible outcomes. Beyond the memorization of millions of facts, Jeopardy requires a thorough understanding of language, idioms, and intent. Watson not only proved that it could master the complexities of the English language, but it showed the world that it had a pretty quick trigger finger.
In my latest article for No Jitter, I delve into the work I have recently been doing with Watson.