Yep, IBM Watson bit two great Jeopardy players today.
IBM’s super computer, named “Watson” after IBM’s founder Thomas J. Watson, finished 3 day tournament winning $77.147.
Ken Jennings who broke the Jeopardy record for the most consecutive games played by winning 74 games in a raw during 2004 – 2005 season came in second winning $24,000.
Brad Rutter who is the biggest all-time Jeopardy money winner with a record of $3.2 million today came in third with $21,600.
IBM has invested 4 straight years on development the Watson technology. The artificial intelligence with Watson IQ can be used in various business applications and I am sure IBM was not spending billions of dollars to just conduct a great marketing event for IBM which is in fact a part of the deal.
“We’re moving beyond Jeopardy!” Dave Ferrucci, the principal engineer behind Watson, said at the event. “With the Watson technology, we’re going to look at creating a commercial offering in the next 24 months that will help empower doctors to do higher quality decision making and diagnoses.”
Ferrucci explained Watson’s strange wagers: “They seem random to us mere mortals. What’s actually going on there is that the team has trained on human betting patterns. It’s considering its confidence. It’s also considering where it is in the game, and how much more there is to go. It’s a very complex calculation, with very precise results. We could have rounded it, but we figured just give the number.”
What IBM does think Watson is good for is data analysis and aiding decision making, which is why the company’s approaching the health care field first. The technology has the ability to scan and analyze data from far more sources than a human ever could in a short period of time, potentially aiding doctors in diagnosing complex but urgent conditions.
Watson was demonstrating its performance at Lotusphere 2011 closing session on February 3, 2011.