Supercomputers, solving more than just problems.

by Caezar M

Supercomuters are the human tool of choice for solving complicated problems that would take conventional computers exponentially longer to solve. so what do we do with these tools of super proportions? we teach it how to play Jeopardy. Watson as it is called, is a supercomputer that was created by IBM to be able to be able to answer questions in a way that conventional searches cannot. for example search bars return documents that contain the keywords that the user entered. Watson can however break down a question into its parts, find clues, and tries to identify the roles the words play. with these relationships calculated Watson searches its database for possible answers much like how we search through our memories. Watsons large database has information about everything, so finding an answer that is statistically more correct than another is a challenge. Watson will come up with as many possible answers as it can using the clues and context that it derives from the question. then Watson will review the relations that the possible answers will have with the questions while statistically measuring its confidence level that the answer is indeed correct. did i forget to mention that Watson can answer these questions in arround 3 seconds


I remember hearing about the supercomputer who beat the contestant who went strong for 6 months. i was skeptical about such a feat from a computer but was pleased to learn that it was true and we have really made amazing strides in analytics/and natural language computing. so watching this video was very intriguing for many reasons, mostly because it is great to be able to get a visualiation about what computers are really doing after you hit enter. its one thing to be able to build a database for a computer. you have to organize your data, structure it, and relate it. all things that take up lots of time. however this system does not have a conventional databse it has a database made up of documents and natural language that it must be able to organize and translate into logical relations. it can do this becaause Watson really does understand the relations between words so it can ingest raw information and come up with answers based on the information without any need for further structuring of the information. no wonder it takes a super computer AI to accomplish this task. i look forward to seeing more applications of this “entity.” If Watson can provide this kind of information quality with just what we know, imagine what it can do for us in terms of diagnostics, finance, medical and maybe even more accurate disaster forecasting based on ALL recorded disasters in history! is it possible? I DONT KNOW, but im throwing it out there because this makes me excited to live in this age where everything we can quantify can come together and actually help us plan the future based on the past.

The Science Behind an Answer


IBM. (2011, July 18). The Science Behind an Answer. IBMWatson. Retrieved October 27, 2011, from