The evening concluded with Bhavani Iyer taking a few questions from the audience on the Question and Answer Technology Watson uses. Bhavani Iyer is responsible for achieving the speed in the DeepQA technology that makes the system competitive in a live Jeopardy match. One audience member asked,"How is Watson processing the Jeopardy questions? " Bhavani explained that Watson considers internal representation of analyzed content of about the equivalent of 200 million pages when attempting to answer a clue. Bhavani explained that Watson's DeepQA processing is both CPU and memory intensive. Initially, Watson's computation took 2 hours to answer a question on a single CPU. By scaling out Watson's computation over 2,880 POWER7 processing cores and optimizing the computation and access to its data, Watson is able to answer most questions in about 3 seconds enabling the system to compete on Jeopardy. This how Watson can search his machine brain, just like a human processes a question through the brain pathways looking for an answer. Another question for Bhavani " What was the underlying framework within Watson used to scale things?" "We used Apache UIMA," said Bhavani. "This is a technology developed in IBM and used as the framework for the processing. This is Opensource and can be downloaded from www.uima.apache.org"
IBM Smarter Computing Blog
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Pictured: IBM Watson in Action: Buzzing in with the right answer to take the lead
Some of you may have heard that on Wednesday night, the Supercomputer known as IBM Watson defeated the two biggest "Jeopardy" winners of all time: Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. IBM Watson finished the Jeopardy competition on Wednesday night with $77,147 in winnings over Jennings' $24,000 and Rutter's $21,600. Whether you turn on the TV, open the newspaper or log-on to Twitter, you'll find news of Watson's victory. Watson is sweeping the media with headlines shouting that in the battle of man versus machine, the machine won. Well, that's not quite true. Yes, Watson is a machine, but the Supercomputer is a machine created by humans. The brains behind Watson are the researchers and IBM technologists who developed this creation. Wednesday night at the special Jeopardy screening viewing at the Landmark Theatre in Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of meeting some of the brains behind Watson. Two brilliant IBM Researchers joined a full house of IBM customers at the event. Just as fascinating as watching IBM Watson play Jeopardy, was the live question and answer session that followed the Jeopardy TV show. Rick Lawrence, Manager, Machine Learning at IBM Research and Bhavani Iyer, Software Developer, IBM Research held the interest of the capacity crowd for almost an hour after the Jeopardy show ended. The human brains behind Watson shared the fascinating back story of how Watson was built and programmed for Jeopardy success.
Pictured: IBM's Bhavani Iyer and Rick Lawrence at the Los Angeles Jeopardy viewing party for IBM Watson.
Both Rick and Bhavani were amazed by the audience's enthusiastic response to Watson's Jeopardy win. "Watson sparks the audience's imagination and everyone is fascinated by Watson whether they are technical or not," Bhavani told me after the event. "This is because Waston changes the way humans interact with computers," says Bhavani. "No more searching by one keyword for an answer, now you can just ask a question." I have a feeling, Watson will be answering a lot more questions. Think of the possibilities for enhancing decision making in scenarios like health care. The possibilities are endless.
Hot off the Press: IBM Announces Analytics Capabilities at the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas
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Today at the Gartner Data Center show in Las Vegas, IBM announced that powerful new predictive analytical capabilities, constructed using intellectual property from 21 inventions, have been incorporated into its global technology services portfolio – including information technology and strategic outsourcing services. IBM VP Steve Sams, vice president, IBM Site and Facilities Services, hinted at this news yesterday in his luncheon address to over 650 conference attendees.
This is the latest example of IBM using analytics capabilities to transform the nature of high-value business and technology services, which includes everything from identifying fraud in tax or healthcare systems, to predicting consumer buying behaviors for retail clients.
Predictive analytics capabilities have been pioneered by IBM Research to enable chief information officers (CIOs) to construct specific, fact-based financial and business models for their information technology (IT) operations. Traditionally, CIOs have had to make decisions about their IT operations without the benefit of tools that could help interpret and model data. Now, planning future investments for data center capacity or adopting emerging technologies such as cloud computing can be more predictable, resulting in savings of up to 40 percent of technology infrastructure expenses through balancing IT capacity with business growth.
"Until now, CIOs have been unable to access many of the predictive, analytics-driven tools that CEO's or CFO's have used for years," said Steven Sams, vice president, IBM Site and Facilities Services. "With today's announcement, CIO's are able to not only apply relevant facts to optimize current IT investments, but also access business insights needed to make the best use of limited resources. In essence this broad array of new analytical capabilities take data generated from IT operations and turn it into a set of facts that clients can then use to make smarter business decisions," he added.
New analytical capabilities are available now across IBM Global Technology Services. Examples of capabilities that help clients with data center rationalization include:
IBM's Alternate Cash Flow Analysis can help determine which alternatives in data center or IT infrastructure operations can cost-effectively meet a client's business goals. Consolidate or upgrade? Two data centers or one? Short-term benefit or long-term approach? This analysis calculates the "do-nothing strategy" – for example, what would happen to investments if left in their current state – which provides a baseline for other financial comparisons.
IBM's Physical Threshold Capacity Analysis can help forecast data center capacity requirements many years into the future, allowing clients to know how long their data centers will remain viable and when they will need to be upgraded. A patent-pending algorithm developed by IBM Research empowers decision-making and improved business performance through the use of computational algorithms and modeling to determine how to meet unpredictable demand in data center capacity. Based on client's input on expected application growth, IT strategy and current data center capabilities, the tool provides objective analysis on the data center capacity thresholds to predict energy and space capacity requirements.
IBM's Resiliency Rationalization Analysis can help clients correctly gauge resiliency within their data center infrastructure. Current metrics for understanding reliability typically focus on the capital costs and don't facilitate the business decision of understanding the value of availability to the on-going business operations. Using client input on relative application values, recovery times, operational quality and other data can provide visibility into the trade-offs between the values of availability with the costs of reducing risk exposure.
Adopting IBM's predictive analytical capabilities to analyze cash-flow, threshold capacity and resiliency rationalization can help CIOs and business leaders better plan, manage and deploy IT infrastructure and budget effectively.
IBM continues to expand its multi-billion dollar investment in the business analytics and optimization market. Over the past five years, IBM has invested more than $14 billion in 24 analytics acquisitions. Today, more than 8,000 IBM business consultants are dedicated to analytics and over 200 mathematicians are developing breakthrough algorithms inside IBM Research.
To hear how IBM clients are using analytics to transform their business visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/ibmbusinessanalytics
If you're attending the Gartner Data Center conference in Las Vegas, stop by IBM Booth Z to learn more!
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Watch this video to listen to Dr. Gaurav Khanna tell the story of how IBM technology has increased the speed of his research.