Kansas State University


IT News

Spotlight: Union watch party Feb. 15: Watson supercomputer competes on Jeopardy!

A “man vs. machine” watch party 4:30-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, in the K-State Student Union Courtyard (adjacent to Salsarita’s) will spotlight a live broadcast of Watson, the IBM supercomputer, as it competes on the Jeopardy! game show. IBM and Proactive Solutions (an IBM business partner) will provide pizza, drinks, and prizes at the K-State watch party.

To register for the event, send an e-mail RSVP to pthomas@proactivesolutions.com and type “WATSON RSVP” in the subject line.

In the meantime, check these out:

  • Singularityhub.com’s Jan. 13 article on how Watson beats Jeopardy game champions
  • IBM’s YouTube video IBM Watson: The Next Grand Challenge (4:48 min.): “In the tradition of IBM’s grand challenges such as Deep Blue with chess and Blue Gene with the human genome, Watson is the next scientific breakthrough with natural language processing on Jeopardy.”

According to the Jan. 13 article on singularityhub.com, “What makes Watson really unique is the way it processes language. IBM developed the DeepQA project (of which Watson is a part) to be able to provide human-like answers to human-asked questions. That means it has to understand the ambiguities and intricacies of human speech – a medium of communication notorious for its acceptable mistakes and imprecision. Using its vast database of literature, scientific reports, and other documents, Watson develops ideas of how often words are associated with other words, and what meanings are extracted from those connections.”