IBM’s Watson supercomputer beats humans in Jeopardy

ibms watson supercomputer beats humans in jeopardy picture 1Its may only have been a practice match, but Watson has proven to be a serious competitor to the likes of Jennings and Rutter. Watson is IBM’s Jeopardy-playing supercomputer. And Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter — both Jeopardy champions — served as human competition today during a preliminary Jeopardy match with the machine.

IBM took four years to develop the supercomputer so that it would be capable of mastering the subtleties of the language-based trivia that defines Jeopardy. To get Watson at the Jeopardy-smart level, engineers scanned over 200 million pages of information into its memory.

Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, is made up of 10 racks of IBM Power 750 servers and runs Linux as its operating system. It also has 15 terabytes of RAM, and 2,880 processor cores. That makes Watson able to scan the millions of pages of data stored in its memory in a quick three seconds. Oh, and it won’t fit on a desktop — it’s the size of 10 refrigerators.

Watson is considered to be the next big step forward in artificial intelligence that could soon be applied to areas outside of games. Watson’s creators suggest the machine’s abilities may be useful in the health care industry in the future. In 1997, IBM supercomputer Deep Blue defeated Gary Kasparov in a chess match that ignited the public’s fascination in human-computer competition.

Despite some categories that seemingly only a human could comprehend (“Chicks Dig Me” for one), Watson triumphed in today’s practice round, but not by enough to signal an imminent Watson is ready to lead machines in a world-takeover. Watson finished with a score of $4,400 and Jennings came in second place with $3,400 and Rutter was last with $1,200.

Today’s practice round held in Yorkston Heights, New York set the stage for a series of Jeopardy matches with Watson to be held in February.

In this video, IBM explains why they chose Jeopardy to test its latest supercomputer.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Computing

The U.S. government plans to drop $500M on a ridiculously powerful supercomputer

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced plans to build a $500 million exascale supercomputer by 2021. The project, known as the Aurora supercomputer, is expected to boost research efforts in fields such as public health.
Computing

Make the most of your toner with our five favorite color laser printers

Color laser printers have improved dramatically over the years, and today's models offer both blazing print speeds and great image quality. Here are our favorite color laser printers, from massive all-in-ones to smaller budget options.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code. 
Computing

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Computing

Microsoft’s Clippy came back from the dead, but didn’t last very long

Before Cortana, Alexa, and Siri even existed, Microsoft Clippy dominated the screens of computers in the 1990s to help assist Microsoft Office users when writing letters. He recently made a bit of a comeback only to die off again.
Computing

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…
Deals

Time to do taxes? Save up to 50 percent on H&R Block tax software this weekend

Tax season is stressful, and with new tax laws in effect this year, it's not a bad idea to get some help. H&R Block has you covered: For two days only, you can save 50 percent on its great software so you can file your taxes online and save…
Computing

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.