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Silly humans, Jeopardy! is for supercomputers
Does Watson need to be in Nevada to help sell itself?

Perhaps the most famous of all IBM supercomputers is IBM Watson. Watson is the latest in the supercomputer line at IBM and it is paired with the DeepQA software.

The combination of the powerful supercomputer hardware and the DeepQA software is what allowed Watson to crush the human competition on Jeopardy! earlier in the year. IBM is now set to the task of selling Watson to other companies to actually make some money off the technology. ExtremeTech reports that one of the first uses for Watson in the tech world might actually be within IBM itself.

IBM may use Watson to answer sales questions about the company. Watson also has applications in the medical field and with sales and telemarketing companies. That raises the unwelcome notion of getting those sales calls that ask people to wait for a representative to pick up only to find that Watson is the actual "salesman".

Watson is very good at answering questions provided the data is in its database. The machine proved on Jeopardy! that it could handle natural language questions without any problems. IBM also sees potential for Watson in the online e-commerce market where a chat window with questions or product issues could be answered by Watson.

Certainly, the biggest drawback to the IBM Watson system is the cost. IBM hasn’t offered an exact cost figure for Watson, however, as ExtremeTech points out, the hardware alone is tens of millions of dollars.

Watson uses ten server racks with Power 750 servers, 2,880 processor cores, and 15TB of RAM. Each of those Power 750 servers is $350,000 making the total for hardware alone around $31.5 million. 



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How many calls
By wordsworm on 7/8/2011 11:03:46 AM , Rating: 2
can it take and make at one time? That might make a big difference in its value. Still, thirty million is an awfully big number. I think many Quebecers' jobs are still safe. I have the feeling that the amount of power it takes to run one of those things and keep it cool costs more than it does to pay one person's salary.




RE: How many calls
By cjohnson2136 on 7/8/2011 2:37:24 PM , Rating: 2
It could one of those things thats expensive up front but over the long run saves you money in employee cost.


RE: How many calls
By wordsworm on 7/11/2011 7:27:59 AM , Rating: 3
I can imagine that such a call centre powered by a thing like this could be the ultimate call centre if it could be programmed in multiple languages, and was an expert in whatever it was designed for. Imagine, a competent call centre agent. That would be pretty cool.


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