News / USA

Computer Bests Humans on TV Game Show

'Watson' is now working on assisting doctors and patients

'Jeopardy!' champions Ken Jennings, left, and Brad Rutter, right, look on as an IBM computer called 'Watson' beats them to the buzzer to answer a question during a practice round.
'Jeopardy!' champions Ken Jennings, left, and Brad Rutter, right, look on as an IBM computer called 'Watson' beats them to the buzzer to answer a question during a practice round.

Multimedia

Audio
Rosanne Skirble

In a three-day competition on the popular U.S. television quiz show Jeopardy, an IBM super computer named Watson faced off against two human contestants and won. The computer proved adept at trivia, on which the show is based.  

Watson was not stumped by the show’s unique answer-and-question format in which players get clues in the form of answers and must answer with a question. Watson got its clues via electronic text.

The super computer bested veteran Jeopardy champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in all categories: the arts, popular culture, science, geography, wordplay and more. The computer won by sorting through 80 trillion instructions a second.  

With that victory behind it, Watson now heads to the hospital.

Its designer, IBM, has signed agreements with Columbia University Medical Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Eliot Siegel, vice chairmain of Radiology at Maryland's medical school, says the advances in artificial intelligence embodied in the Watson computer show great promise for medicine.

"With its ability to understand concepts and natural language processing and its ability to form multiple hypotheses and respond very rapidly, holds the promise to be able to explore information in the electronic medical record and also for help with diagnostic and therapeutic planning and just general decision making in medicine."

Siegel adds that Watson’s skills could help doctors and nurses sort through facts and knowledge buried in huge volumes of medical literature published worldwide.

"And having a system that’s able to automatically ingest that information, be able to organize and make that available as a diagnostic aid is really, in my opinion going to significantly enhance not only my ability to make diagnosis, but also enhance the safety and effectiveness of patient care."

But first, Watson will have to tweak its software.  Initially it will be trained to organize, synthesize and summarize the vast amounts of medical information that will be fed to it.  

"We need to be able to have the Dr. Watson program, unlike the Jeopardy-playing Watson program, be able to form hypotheses and be able to discount information as it's presented with larger amounts of information and be able to find patterns in that. And that’s a more complex task than the task for Jeopardy."   

Siegel expects Dr. Watson to begin assisting doctors in that capacity in two to five years.  

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid