Supercomputer Watson eats People alive on Jeopardy!

(Youtube Direktwatson, via Engadget)

Ihr erinnert Euch an Watson, IBMs Supercomputer, der Anfang Februar in Jeopardy! gegen ein paar Menschen antreten wird? Der hat gestern in einer Testrunde seine Gegner zum Frühstück verspeist. Die Menschen holen nach einer beschämenden ersten Runde zwar nochmal auf, eine wirkliche Chance haben sie aber nicht. Von PopSci:

Watson, named after IBM’s founder, is one epic supercomputer. To handle the formidable task that competing on Jeopardy! presents, IBM spent years constructing a computer with 2,800 Power7 cores. That power is absolutely necessary–a single-core CPU, like in many modern computers, takes about two hours to come up with an answer to a standard Jeopardy! question, rather than the three-second average Watson currently boasts.

A lot of the challenge in creating an algorithm that can answer Jeopardy! questions lies in the questions themselves–the language used in these questions is hardly ever simple, often incorporating wordplay, riddles, and irony–but there’s an additional problem in the addition of risk. In a split-second, a competitor must assess confidence in the question, weigh that confidence against the penalty of getting it wrong, and decide if the question is worth answering based on those factors. That’s an intuitive effort for a human, but Watson had to be programmed with some incredibly complex reasoning to be able to do the same thing.

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