Wednesday, 2 March 2011

US Congressman beats Supercomputer at Jeopardy

This is the first article that I read that specifically mentions IBM
Watson as a supercomputer. Unlike typical supercomputers that tend to
use blade servers, IBM Watson uses, rack mounted computers complete
with display cards for each computer. However its characteristics is
just like any cluster computers which can be rack mounted or
independent workstations or personal computers networked together.
It shows the importance of learning about cluster computing. UMS has 2
sets of rack mounted cluster servers. Many Malaysian universities also
have these cluster servers and offered to others through the National
Computing Grid. The ones at UMS will use Linux based ROCKS Cluster.
Rep. Rush Holt takes down IBM supercomputer 'Watson' in round of
Published: Tuesday, March 01, 2011, 8:25 PM Updated: Tuesday,
March 01, 2011, 8:26 PM
Matt Friedman/Statehouse Bureau By Matt Friedman/Statehouse Bureau
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holt.jpgTom BrigliaDr. Eric Brown from IBM Research preps four members
of congress - Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Jim Himes
(D-Conn.), Rush Holt (D-N.J.) - for an exhibition game against IBM's
Watson on Monday.
TRENTON — The answer is: This rocket scientist congressman from
central New Jersey took down IBM supercomputer "Watson" during a round
of Jeopardy!
Question: Who is Rush Holt?
In a battle of wits between man and machine at a Capitol Hill hotel
Monday night, Holt (D-12th Dist.) triumphed over "Watson" in one round
of an exhibition match sponsored by IBM. Holt finished the round with
8,600 points to the computer's 6,200.
The event was designed to foster discussion about U.S. global
competitiveness, positive implications of technology and more
investment in math and science education, according to IBM.
Four of Holt's colleagues — U.S. Reps. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Nan
Hayworth (R-N.Y.), Jim Himes (D-Conn.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) —
challenged Watson but couldn't compete with the computer.
During three televised episodes of the game show last month, Watson
trounced Jeopardy! champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.
Holt, a physicist who was a five-time Jeopardy! champion long before
he entered the House, parlayed his victory into a call to support math
and science education and invest in new technology.

• Rep. Rush Holt defeats IBM supercomputer in a round of Jeopardy!
"I was proud to hold my own with Watson," Holt said. "More
importantly, I was proud to join IBM and other members of Congress to
highlight the importance of science and math education and research
and development."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) chimed in on Twitter,
writing "Congratulations to @RushHolt for showing @IBMWatson human
intelligence isn't in #jeopardy!"
IBM spokeswoman Lia Davis said the computer that went up against Holt
was not the exact one that competed on television, but a simulation.
Davis said the company did not view the contest as "man vs. machine,"
since Watson was built by people.
"Even if Watson wins, humans win," she said.
Holt's office said the congressman crushed the computer in categories
such as phobias, presidential ryhmes and laundry detergent, where he
knew a three-letter nickname for the Beatles was "Fab."
Watson's winners included a very human response to the clue of "a
temporary insanity curable by marriage." The computer correctly
answered, "What is love?"

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