For years Google’s search engine has ruled the Web story-finding world, but its interface is far from perfect: Even with the new voice-recognition front-end, it’s not like asking an expert to answer your question. Enter IBM with “Watson.”
Watson is able to win at Jeopardy, which translates to it being able to really understand language. With the goal of creating a computer that can win at Jeopardy, a group at IBM has been hard at work on Watson for years. Jeopardy is the perfect challenge for a computer who is designed to really understand language. With its wordplay and puns built into reverse-questions, it requires a knowledge not only of facts, but of how language is used in the day-to-day.
In order to do this, Watson uses an insane amount of computer power—it is a supercomputer, after all—to analyse loads of algorithms at once.