IBM has competed in contests against human players with supercomputers like Watson before. IBM has announced that its Watson computer will compete against two of the all time great champions in Jeopardy. The two humans that Watson will play include Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.
The contest is set to take place on February 14, 15, and 16 of 2011 and two matches will be played on the three consecutive days. The Watson supercomputer has been designed to compete against humans with the ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy, and confidence.
The IBM designers say that the Jeopardy challenge is prefect to test Watson because the game has clues involving analyzing the meanings in irony, riddles, and other complex clues that humans traditionally do well in and computers do not. The prize in the contest is $1 million for the winner, $300,000 for second, and $200,000 for third. The two human players will give half their winnings to charity and IBM will give all to charity.