Elementary My Dear Kasparov

Elementary My Dear Kasparov

| 81 | Misc

When the IBM super-computer Deep Blue defeated the reigning world chess champion Garry Kasparov in a match in 1997, it made headlines around the world.

However, after the match IBM retired their silicon chess monster, satisfied that their objective had been met.

Now, in 2011, the spiritual successor to Deep Blue has achieved something even more remarkable.  IBM latest super-computer 'Watson' has beaten the best human contestants in a special edition of the popular US TV game show, Jeopardy.

The challenge this time for Watson's programmers was to develop a computer that could understand natural English-language questions and figure out the answer.

To help it achieve this, Watson stores an enormous amount of data and calculates at a speed of 80 teraflops - that's an eye watering 80 trillion calculations per second, which is nearly 100 times as fast as Deep Blue.

A glamour shot of Watson, from the IBM labs



IBM picked up a $1m prize thanks to Watson's success, and they now plan to further develop Watson for more practical use as an assistant to help physicians care for their patients.

Garry Kasparov's initial reaction to Watson's success can be found here. The first day of the gameshow can be watched in the two videos below. The other days can be found by following the links in the videos.

So is Watson's success a greater achievement than Deep Blue beating Kasparov in 1997?

Do YOU welcome our new computer overlords? Cool


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