IBM's next frontier for computing: TV game shows

IBM's next frontier for computing: TV game shows San Francisco - Technology giant IBM on Monday announced its next frontier in the unending quest to make computers more intelligent - it has invented a computer that it believes can compete with humans on the popular US television quiz show Jeopardy. Code-named Watson, IBM's Question Answering system has been in development for two years and is built to comprehend and respond to a large range of complex questions covering a range of subjects, including history, politics, film, and pop culture. The scientists believe that the computing system will be able to understand complex questions and answer with enough precision and speed to compete on Jeopardy.

The company built a computer that successfully beat the world chess champion Gary Kasparov in 1997. But winning a game like Jeopardy is far more challenging, IBM said, "due to the variety of subject matter, the speed at which contestants must provide accurate responses, and because the clues given to contestants involve analyzing subtle meaning, irony, riddles, and other complexities at which humans excel and computers traditionally do not."

"Progress on the (project) will be important in the quest to understand and build 'intelligent computing systems' capable of cooperating with humans in language-related tasks previously out of reach for computers," said Dr. David Ferrucci, leader of the IBM Watson project team.

The company did not say when Watson would compete in the game show. (dpa)

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