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Man vs Machine on Jeopardy Trivia Quiz
« on: May 03, 2009, 12:14:19 AM »
By Maggie Shiels

The computer company that has in the past taken on the grandmasters of chess is now turning its attention to the famed US trivia quiz show Jeopardy.

In a head-to-head challenge of man versus machine, IBM will pit a supercomputer named Watson against human contestants.

Watson is a new question-answering system based on natural language.

"The aim is to get Watson to think and interact in human terms," IBM's Dr David Ferrucci told BBC News.

"It will try to understand a user's question and intent and understand it at a rudimentary level and provide and accurate and confident answer."

For the past two years scientists have been working on perfecting the system that will drive Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J Watson Snr.

"The most challenging aspect of this is that Watson has to know what it knows with utmost confidence.

"Otherwise if it buzzes in and gets the answer wrong that is bad on Jeopardy because you lose money and lose the game," explained Dr Ferrucci, an IBM artificial intelligence researcher and team leader on the project. - BBC

This smacks of a grand conspiracy to hide the non-existent, to identify the nameless, to paint a picture of the unseen. -- Benelynne

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