Smart regarding humans means being well educated, knowing a lot off different things and being able to understand many different concepts, in short it means being intelligent. But when it comes to the smartest computer, smart takes a whole new meaning, because the worlds smartest computer can answer questions and is the closest thing to artificial intelligence we have as of right now.
The worlds smartest computer is an IBM question and answer computing system that has a 200 million pages of structured and unstructured content stored in its four terabytes of disk storage and it also has access to the Internet. It was originally developed to be able to answer questions on one f the most popular American TV game shows Jeopardy!, but now it serves a commercial purpose, it helps Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s staff make utilization management decisions in lung cancer treatment.
Its creators dubbed this computer the IBM Watson after IBM’s first CEO Thomas Watson. How Watson works is it splits the questions that are given to it into keywords and fragments, to use them to find relates phrases, which will lead to an answer. This type of technology isn’t that new, however the innovation regarding it is that it is able to simultaneously comb through large quantity of data to quickly find the answer to the question. And since Watson uses a multitude of algorithms to search for the answer, the more of these individual algorithms find the answer independently, the more likely is the chance of Watson answering the posed question correctly.
The idea to create Watson came from IBM’s Research manager Charles Lickel, who in 2004 experience phenomenon of a restaurant full of people watching a game of Jeopardy! On which Ken Jennings was doing his 74th consecutive winning run on the game show. Lickel then realized that he had found IBM’s next challenge and pitched his idea to IBM’s research executive Paul Horn who then began to assemble a team of people who would take on this challenge.
Speaking of Jeopardy! In 2011 Watso actually competed on the game show againdt two past Jeopardy! Winners Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Watson was able to earn the first place prize of 1 million dollars. This experience showed how well Watson could perform, most notably he outperformed in regards to the show’s signaling device, however it also reveled Watsons imperfections, more notably that he had difficulties in categories which has short, few word clues.