This week on 17th, IBM's supercomputer, Watson (named after IBM's founder, Thomas J. Watson), took on two of the most championed Jeopardy! contestants of all time in an exhilarating $1 million Jeopardy! face-off between man and machine.
Watson defeated Jeopardy! defenders Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, amassing $77,147 in winnings in a nail-biting three-night tournament that sparked interest around the field of artificial intelligence and data analytics.
IBM explained, that by matching the text in a question to the text in its vast memory, Watson can analyze and recite an accurate answer in less than three seconds. If there's no match in Watson's "brain," it takes a guess based on a confidence level that's calculated on probabilities.
So what makes Watson's genius possible? A whole lot of storage, sophisticated hardware, super fast processors and Apache Hadoop, the open source technology pioneered by Yahoo! and at the epicenter of big data and cloud computing.
Hadoop was used to create Watson's "brain," or the database of knowledge and facilitation of Watson's processing of enormously large volumes of data in milliseconds. Watson depends on 200 million pages of content and 500 gigabytes of preprocessed information to answer Jeopardy questions. That huge catalog of documents has to be searchable in seconds. On a single computer, it would be impossible to do, but by using Hadoop and dividing the work on to many computers it can be done.
More Info: What is Apache Hadoop!?
[tags]jeopardy,watson,ken jennings,brad rutter[/tags]