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Watson Rules! (Day 3)

ImageAs I predicted, IBM's Watson pretty much trounced the humans. It was not a complete romp, however. The final score was $77,147 for Watson, $21,600 for Brad Rutter, and $24,000 for Ken Jennings. At it was an exhibition match, the $1,000,000 first prize goes to IBM (and then on to charity). Jennings earns $300,000 and Rutter comes away with $200,000. Both Jennings and Rutter said they will donate half their proceeds to charity. My assumption is IBM funded much of the event (it took place at their facility).

The third and final day was pretty much game playing. There was no background or build-up. I assume if you did not figure out what was going on by now, no amount of background was going to help. The second game was much closer then the first one. The human players actually got a chance to answer some questions.

Read more: Watson Rules! (Day 3)

Toronto??? (Day 2)

ImageI suppose all the misery of flying around the country has finally given me an advantage. The final Jeopardy answer was, "Its largest airport was named for a World War II hero; its second largest, for a World War II battle." I knew the question right away and so did Jennings and Rutter. Watson's question was "What is Toronto ???" Sorry old boy, that is wrong. To his credit he did note his lack of confidence in the answer with three question marks.

Read more: Toronto??? (Day 2)

Watson vs Carbon Life Forms (Day 1)

ImageI recorded Jeopardy last night because asking my wife to watch 2880 processors play Jeopardy against two humans rather than go out for a Valentine's Day dinner was probably not a good idea. I just finished watching the first day this morning. What follows are some thoughts and observations as the latest man vs machine contest unfolds.

Read more: Watson vs Carbon Life Forms (Day 1)

Man vs Machine for $400

I wanted to mention this earlier. This week on Jeopardy (CBS Network) the best human players will attempt to beat Watson, a 2880 core IBM Jeopardy computer. This is more than a chess match because in Jeopardy you must supply the question based on an answer. There is also plenty of wordplay in the categories and the answers themselves making it a particularly difficult problem for computers. Here is snippet from the CBS press release:

The first-ever man vs. machine Jeopardy! competition will air on February 14, 15 and 16, 2011, with two matches being played over three consecutive days. The grand prize for this competition will be $1 million with second place earning $300,000 and third place $200,000. Rutter and Jennings will donate 50 percent of their winnings to charity, and IBM will donate 100 percent of its winnings to charity.

There is a good write-up over at HPCwire. The Watson-Jeopardy challenge was the subject of a recent episode of Nova as well. Even more details are on the official Watson Page. My prediction: Watson all the way.

NVidia Tesla: 2010 Year in Review

If Nikola could see us now!

Each year NVidia provides a "year in review" that I find very interesting. It is a good summary of the years events (of course from NVidia's's perspective), but none the less informative. Plus, there are plenty of links to facilitate further exploration. This years round-up follows.

Tesla - A Year in Review - 2010

The growth of GPU Computing in HPC has continued unabated this year with many new milestones achieved. Hard to believe that it's only been three and a half years since Tesla launched.

At the end of last year, we talked about how it felt like we had reached a "tipping point" with Tesla, a level at which momentum for change seemed unstoppable. If I had to find two words to summarize this year, I would say that it feels like Tesla has reached escape velocity, the required speed one needs to break free of a gravitational field, or in the case of Tesla, a stage of momentum where we're seeing a rapid increase in deployments and the question on many of our customers' lips is no longer "if" we deploy GPUs, it's "when".

Read more: NVidia Tesla: 2010 Year in Review

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