Artificial intelligence is about to be put to the test in a trial that could reveal just how far researchers have come in designing computers that can “think” like human beings: On Jan. 13, a computer designed by IBM will take on two former Jeopardy! champions in a practice round leading up to the main event.
It’s the size of 10 refrigerators, and it swallows encyclopedias whole, but IBM’s hardware and software system—named “Watson”—was lacking one thing it needed to battle the greatest champions from the quiz show: It couldn’t hit a buzzer.
But that’s been fixed, and on Jan. 13 Watson was to play a practice round against Ken Jennings, who won a record 74 consecutive Jeopardy! games in 2004-05, and Brad Rutter, who won a record of nearly $3.3 million in prize money.…Read More