Alex, I'll take Big Brains vs. Big Iron for $1 million.
Last year, we got word that Watson, a program powered by an IBM Power7 server, might be competing against superstars from the TV quiz show "Jeopardy." Now, it's settled. Watson will face "Jeopardy" standouts Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a competition scheduled to air February 14-16. Two matches will be played over three consecutive days.
Watson is named after company founder Thomas J. Watson and optimized to quickly analyze clues for complex language such as subtle meaning, irony, and riddles, IBM said in a statement announcing the contest.
Jennings won more than $2.5 million during his record 72 consecutive "Jeopardy" wins, and Rutter is the show's biggest winner with more than $3.2 million. The computer program took and passed the same contestant test that humans take to qualify to be on the show and has competed in more than 50 "sparring games" against former Jeopardy Tournament of Champions contestants.
Watson trained for its "Jeopardy" stint at IBM Research's Yorktown, N.Y., facility. There, the institution built a faux "Jeopardy" studio and sucked in huge amounts of content from the show trying to program a new computer to learn how to beat the best. … Read more