IBM just announced that its “Watson
” supercomputer will compete on Jeopardy!
in February against the show’s two top contestants. The competition will air on February 14, 15 and 16, 2011, with two matches being played over three consecutive days.
Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, was developed by a team of IBM scientists who sought to build a supercomputer that rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence. The Jeopardy! format provides the ultimate challenge, IBM says, because the game’s clues involve analyzing subtle meaning, irony, riddles, and other complexities in which humans excel and computers traditionally do not.