Man-Versus-Computer: Why The 'Jeopardy!' Challenge Is Important

12/16/2010 06:17 pm 18:17:56 | Updated May 25, 2011

We've now all heard about Watson, IBM's new supercomputer, which will be matched up against two of "Jeopardy!"'s most impressive winners in a man-versus-computer showdown.

But why is Watson being tested on America's favorite game show?

The game of "Jeopardy!" makes great demands on its players -- from the range of topical knowledge covered to the nuances in language employed in the clues. Can the analytical power of a computer system -- normally accustomed to executing precise requests -- overcome these obstacles? Can the troves of knowledge written in human terms become easily searchable by a machine in order to deliver a precise answer? Can a quiz show advance science?

The IBM "Jeopardy!" Challenge poses a specific question with very real business implications: Can a system be designed that applies advanced data management and analytics to natural language in order to uncover a single, reliable insight -- in a fraction of a second?

Watch this video to find out more about Watson's highly-anticipated appearance on "Jeopardy!".

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