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Sunday, May 31, 2009

IBM computer to take on 'Jeopardy'

WASHINGTON - "IBM, having already come up with a computer that can beat the world's best chess players, is gearing up for another challenge.
The US computer giant on Monday announced it was developing a computer to compete with humans on the popular US television quiz show Jeopardy!
IBM said its scientists have been working for nearly two years on an advanced computing system codenamed "Watson" -- after IBM founder Thomas Watson, not Sherlock Holmes's sidekick.
It said the scientists believe "Watson" will be able to eventually compete on Jeopardy!, a TV show in which contestants provide question-formatted answers to clues on history, literature, politics, film, pop culture and science.
IBM said Jeopardy! would pose a stiff challenge for a computing system because the clues given to the human contestants involve "analyzing subtle meaning, irony, riddles and other complexities."
"The essence of making decisions is recognizing patterns in vast amounts of data, sorting through choices and options, and responding quickly and accurately," IBM chairman Samuel Palmisano said.
"Watson will be designed to do all of this in a matter of seconds, which will enable it to compete against humans, who have the ability to know what they know in less than a second," IBM said.
An IBM computer named Deep Blue defeated then-world chess champion Garry Kasparov in a celebrated man-versus-machine match in 1997.
Developing a computer to compete at Jeopardy! however may be an even more difficult proposition than defeating the world's top grandmasters.
"The challenge is to build a system that, unlike systems before it, can rival the human mind's ability to determine precise answers to natural language questions and to compute accurate confidences in the answers," said David Ferrucci, leader of IBM's Watson project team.
"This confidence processing ability is key. It greatly distinguishes the IBM approach from conventional search, and is critical to implementing useful business applications of question answering (QA)."

To read the rest of this story go to:http://www.canada.com/Entertainment/computer+take+Jeopardy/1541966/story.html

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Chess needs more women and girl participants and administrators!

Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.