IBM's supercomputer Watson proved that it's able to understand human language enough to stomp out the best contestants in Jeopardy history like they were a couple of high school freshmen. Now, it has its sights on a much more meaningful goal.
In 1997, an IBM computer known as Deep Blue was able to defeat human chess superstar Garry Kasparov. Today, the computer company is saying it has been able to match the gravity of that accomplishment in an achievement for the 21st century.
The second night of the three-night Jeopardy "man versus machine" battle aired last night, and after a while it really stopped being interesting and felt more like a bloodbath.
Nearly half a decade of hard work from some of the most intelligent computer engineers in the world, many of them holding PhD's in at least one field, culminated in an event that began on Monday. The results?
The time has come to see if a computer can actually possess the rational thought and skill needed to beat a human in the ultimate competition of knowledge - Jeopardy.
IBM's Watson computer is widely tipped to take the crown when its appearance in Jeopardy is screened next month.
After years of planning, IBM's learning, human-aware computer Watson was put to a competition like no other - a match of Jeopardy against quiz show heavyweights Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. The result - Watson won. Barely.
One wonders how long most human contestants spend practising for an appearance on the quiz show Jeopardy!. It's probably not as long as IBM's Watson supercomputer, which is finally ready to play after three years' hard work.