Watson supercomputer (named after IBM’s first president, Thomas J. Watson) was first in news in 2011, when it played the popular quiz show Jeopardy in 2011.
Recently IBM said that it will be available in handheld devices within a decade. The IBM designed Watson Supercomputer is a question answering (QA) computing system, which could process natural language, retrieve information, reason and “open domain question answering”.
It is capable of generating hypotheses, analysing and “gathering evidence” and performing complex analytics. The design of the machine was aimed at answering Jeopardy questions in three seconds.
According to IBM, Watson’s capability enables it to process 500 gigabytes — about one million books — in one second. The machine’s ‘brain’ was filled with encyclopaedias, dictionaries, thesauri, articles from newswires, and literary works. Its ‘knowledge’ also included databases of all sorts, taxonomies, and ontologies.
Project Joshua Blue and Watson Super Computer
Project Joshua Blue is a project of IBM, which focuses on advancing the artificial intelligence field by designing and programming computers to emulate human mental functions. Main goal of Joshua Blue is “to achieve cognitive flexibility that approaches human functioning”. In short, IBM is aiming to design Joshua Blue to ‘think like a human’, mainly in terms of emotional thought; similar IBM projects focusing on logical thought and strategic reasoning include Deep Blue, a logic-based chess playing computer, and Watson, a question-driven artificial intelligence software program.