IBM Watson: The Next Grand Challenge

In the tradition of IBM’s grand challenges such as Deep Blue with chess and Blue Gene with the human genome, Watson is the next scientific breakthrough with natural language processing on Jeopardy.

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32 thoughts on “IBM Watson: The Next Grand Challenge

  1. A version of that software will some day replace every helpdesk worker in the world. In the future, when you phone in to get help with your problem, a warm but robotic voice (and most likely womans voice) will give you a solution in 3-6 seconds, and she doesn't care how much you yell at her.

  2. @carnin that's why Watson is also a reminder of how awesome the brain is. It takes several massive fridge-sized computers to compete with the top-level humans EVEN IN A VERY LIMITED DOMAIN. At the same time, Watson is an impressive demonstration of how far language processing has come, though it's nowhere close to what we would call "true machine intelligence".

  3. @foxsux6000 Linux and Mac OS X are both built atop UNIX, they are not even close to 100% compatible. But they are a hell of a lot closer than anything is to windows.

  4. @carnin There seem to be disparate challenges between the two.

    The challenge for the human is the expansiveness of his knowledge and ability to recall. This is Watson's and computers in general strength.

    On the flip side the challenge of Watson and computers is the ability to understand questions in natural language. This is a human strength over computers.

  5. @JeweledBeast Watson is not intellegent, it's just a supercomputer with complicated search algorithms that attempt to understand natural speech. 

  6. Yay! no more outsourcing of call center agents to India or other 3rd world countries…. but still no work for you guys 'coz only one employee will be required – Watson.

  7. @pogiboooy no call center jobs in the US either. Watson took your job Pogi (regardless of what your jobs is).
    Employers salivate and you and I either own our own businesses or turn to crime. 

  8. The idea of having a mother raise an AI occurred to me too. I think the mother is the R&D staff at IBM. I guess the most basic need of the AI is electricity. After that its up to the Mother to guide the AI with training sets and good sources of data. How does the AI decide when to cry because something is wrong? Also, It seems that the programmers (the invisible hand) would hardwire a few basic "needs" that the AI tries to satisfy. As time goes by the AI should become self motivated.

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