Print 12 comment(s) - last by tangtangtan.. on Jul 11 at 10:06 AM

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.

Supercomputer telemarketer?
By MegaHustler on 7/8/2011 12:40:22 PM , Rating: 5
"I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you miss out on this amazing deal..."

If it can run Crysis
By Pessimism on 7/8/2011 10:47:49 AM , Rating: 1
That's all the advertisement it needs.

RE: If it can run Crysis
By abscode on 7/8/2011 4:39:42 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm... load its db with all kinds of game wikis and charge people a few bucks to call it and ask things like "how do i kill boss x on stage y in game z?" and "does princess peach ever get sloshed and team mario and luigi?".

RE: If it can run Crysis
By EricMartello on 7/8/2011 7:57:15 PM , Rating: 1
Holy macaroni! :O

that's expensive
By superPC on 7/8/2011 9:58:45 AM , Rating: 2
at more than 30 million i don't think IBM can sell any watson. bring it down to 1-2 million than law firm, hospital, call center, even some wealthy individual (you know to integrate it to their smart home and have their own jarvis-movie version) will line up to buy one of this (provided the electricity requirement also drop down to 1/30 or 1/15 of current value)

Oh Watson...
By MrTeal on 7/8/2011 10:21:29 AM , Rating: 2
Why can't they use you for good instead of evil.

In a perfect world, a Watson on wheels would just follow Ken Jennings around and answer any question posed to him before he can answer, as well as point out any factual mistakes he makes.

By nvnvlai3535 on 7/9/2011 8:34:19 AM , Rating: 2

I tide fashion Good-looking, not expensive Free transport

By tangtangtan on 7/11/2011 10:06:02 AM , Rating: 2

I tide fashion Good-looking, not expensive Free transport

By ninainaidbuxing on 7/11/2011 7:21:09 AM , Rating: 1

I tide fashion Good-looking, not expensive Free transport

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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