IBM supercomputer to take on Jeopardy quiz show

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IBM supercomputer to take on Jeopardy quiz show

IBM has set its sights on US quiz show Jeopardy for an upcoming supercomputer challenge that could have important implications for practical artificial intelligence programming.

The company will construct a system capable of taking on humans in the game show as a test for its new Watson computing project.

The aim of Watson is to construct a system which can analyse and interpret the subtleties and underlying meanings in queries.

"The essence of making decisions is recognising patterns in vast amounts of data, sorting through choices and options, and responding quickly and accurately," said IBM chairman and chief executive Samuel Palmisano.

"With advanced computing power and deep analytics, we can infuse business and societal systems with intelligence."

IBM said that Jeopardy would provide the ideal arena for Watson because the game's structure requires a broad subject knowledge and the ability to analyse riddles, irony and subtle meanings.

The ability to compete in games has long been a standard for artificial intelligence and complex computing systems. IBM gained fame for its Blue Gene supercomputers in the 1990s when the systems played a series of chess matches against world champion Gary Kasparov.

More recently, a supercomputer was able to reach a milestone by beating a professional player at Go, a board game which requires high levels of planning and analysis.

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