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Jeopardy! computer smashes puny humans, plans victory parade

Feb 17, 2011, 12:46 PM EDT


Tweet of the Day so far:

BastardMachine Tim Goodman
Sigh. It was only a matter of time: Watson arrested after booze-and-coke fueled bender. “He made Sheen look like a big girl’s blouse.”

That’s Tim Goodman, TV critic for the Hollywood Reporter and middling softball pitcher. And as you may have guessed, Watson wasn’t actually sharing a holding cell with Miguel Cabrera last night. After trouncing his human competition on the third and final day of his stint on Jeopardy!, Watson received his first post-game show assignment.

IBM announced an agreement with Nuance Communications, a speech recognition provider, to develop and commercialize Watson’s advanced analytics capabilities in the healthcare industry.

Watson’s ability to answer questions, process natural language, and learn, coupled with speech recognition and clinical language understanding will be used to diagnose and treat patients. It will also provide hospitals, physicians and payers access to critical and timely information.

On Wednesday they had a Jeopardy! viewing party at Marist University, where many of the IBM executives and employees responsible for building Watson went to school. And here’s another fun fact: One of the key players for the Marist men’s basketball team this season? Menelik Watson.


  1. spkyfoxx - Feb 17, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Nice to see my cost of living raise going to a good cause. Cannot believe how much of a big deal IBM is making of this. Got an email from the CEO (to every IBM’r in the world) about what a WIN!!! this was for IBM. Find it amazing as I watch contracts we had get cancelled, coworkers get “resource actioned” (ie: laid off) and all the work shiped to India (I talk to them daily) but this is the best thing IBM has done in years. Why do I work for them???????

  2. optimalclassification - Feb 17, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    Watson’s human language interpreter is impressive along with its massive memory and parallel processing speed but bottom line all trivia questions and answers are inherently linked together as dependent and independent variables. This link is what makes identification of dependent variables from independent variables possible. Through the technique of optimal classification the number of queries or keywords to identify a dependent variable can be greatly reduced as demonstrated by the following application: Nothing new to computer science since around 1972.

    • cur68 - Feb 17, 2011 at 10:18 PM

      Whoa, dude, announce a nerd alert so as I can put on my nerd deflectors before you do that. Cogent, relevant, highly apropo comments on the algorithm watson uses and its historical context. Where ever he is, Alan Turig is taking a bow.