Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

IBM’s Watson Ready for Jeopardy Champions

IBM announced today that it's Watson computer is ready for prime time, and that its opponents in playing Jeopardy! are no less than two of its all time champions.  Airing on February 14, 15 and 16, Watson will face off against Ken Jennings, who broke the Jeopardy! record for the most consecutive games played, and Brad Rutter, who has won the highest cumulative amount ever by a single Jeopardy! player ($3,255,102).

I will be watching with interest, not only because I grew up in a family that watched Jeopardy regularly, but also because so much of the technology being used by Watson will have (and already has today) direct applicability for the types of business needs my team helps address.

Today's press release highlights just some of the real world applications for Watson’s technology:

Beyond Jeopardy!, the technology behind Watson can be adapted to solve problems and drive progress in various fields. The computer has the ability to sift through vast amounts of data and return precise answers, ranking its confidence in its answers. The technology could be applied in areas such as healthcare, to help accurately diagnose patients, to improve online self-service help desks, to provide tourists and citizens with specific information regarding cities, prompt customer support via phone, and much more. 

If this is the first you're hearing about this, there was a great New York Times Magazine article about it a few months back, and you can also see highlights of the sparring matches Watson has been undertaking against past Jeopardy Champions and track its progress over the next few weeks at