Building Watson: An Overview of the DeepQA Project

David Ferrucci, Eric Brown, Jennifer Chu-Carroll, James Fan, David Gondek, Aditya A. Kalyanpur, Adam Lally, J. William Murdock, Eric Nyberg, John Prager, Nico Schlaefer, Chris Welty

Abstract


IBM Research undertook a challenge to build a computer system that could compete at the human champion level in real time on the American TV Quiz show, Jeopardy! The extent of the challenge includes fielding a real-time automatic contestant on the show, not merely a laboratory exercise. The Jeopardy! Challenge helped us address requirements that led to the design of the DeepQA architecture and the implementation of Watson. After 3 years of intense research and development by a core team of about 20 researches, Watson is performing at human expert-levels in terms of precision, confidence and speed at the Jeopardy! Quiz show. Our results strongly suggest that DeepQA is an effective and extensible architecture that may be used as a foundation for combining, deploying, evaluating and advancing a wide range of algorithmic techniques to rapidly advance the field of QA.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1609/aimag.v31i3.2303

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