• CraigRhinehart

TV Re-runs, Watson and My Blog

Updated: Feb 19


IBM Watson and Jeopardy!

When I was a wee lad … back in the 60s … I used to rush home from elementary school to watch the re-runs on TV. This was long before middle school and girls. HOMEWORK, SCHMOMEWORK !!!  … I just had to see those re-runs before anything else. 


My favorites were I Love Lucy, Batman, Leave It To Beaver and The Munsters.  I also watched The Patty Duke Show (big-time schoolboy crush) but my male ego prevents me from admitting I liked it. Did you know the invention of the re-run is credited to Desi Arnaz? The man was a genius even though Batman was always my favorite. Still is. I had my priorities straight even back then.


I am reminded of this because I have that same Batman-like re-run giddiness as I think about the upcoming re-runs of Jeopardy! currently scheduled to air September 12th – 14th.

You’ve probably figured out why I am so excited, but in case you’ve been living in a cave, not reading this blog, or both … IBM Watson competed (and won) on Jeopardy! in February against the two most accomplished Grand Champions in the history of the game show (Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter). 


Who is Watson?


Watson (DeepQA) is the world’s most advanced question-answering machine that uncovers answers by understanding the meaning buried in the context of a natural language question. By combining advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and DeepQA automatic question answering technology, IBM was able to demonstrate a major breakthrough in computing.


Unlike traditional structured data, human natural language is full of ambiguity … it is nuanced and filled with contextual references. Subtle meaning, irony, riddles, acronyms, idioms, abbreviations and other language complexities all present unique computing challenges not found with structured data. This is precisely why IBM chose Jeopardy! as a way to showcase the Watson breakthrough.


Watson Re-Runs


Appropriately, I’ve decided that this posting should be a re-run of my own Watson and content analysis-related postings.  So in the spirit of Desi, Lucy, Batman and Patty Duke … here we go:

  1. This is my favorite post of the bunch.  It explains how the same technology used to play Jeopardy! can give you better business insight today.  “What is Content Analytics?, Alex”

  2. I originally wrote this a few weeks before the first match was aired to explain some of the more interesting aspects of Watson.  10 Things You Need to Know About the Technology Behind Watson

  3. I wrote this posting just before the three-day match was aired live (in February) and updated it with comments each day.  Humans vs. Watson (Programmed by Humans): Who Has The Advantage?

  4. Watson will be a big part of the future of Enterprise Content Management and I wrote this one in support of a keynote I delivered at the AIIM Conference.  Watson and The Future of ECM (my slides from the same keynote are posted here).

  5. This was my most recent posting.  It covers another major IBM Research advancement in the same content analysis technology space.  TAKMI and Watson were recognized as part of IBM’s Centennial as two of the top 100 innovations of the last 100 years. IBM at 100: TAKMI, Bringing Order to Unstructured Data

  6. I wrote a similar IBM Centennial posting about IBM Research and Watson. IBM at 100: A Computer Called Watson

  7. This was my first Watson-related post.  It introduced Watson and was posted before the first match was aired.  Goodbye Search … It’s About Finding Answers … Enter Watson vs. Jeopardy!

Desi Arnaz may have been a genius when it came to TV re-runs but the gang at IBM Research has made a compelling statement about the future of computing.  Jeopardy! shows what is possible and my blog posts show how this can be applied already. The comments from your peers on these postings are interesting to read as well.


As always, your comments and thoughts are welcome here.


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