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"Jeopardy!" Showcases Future Of Search

Holding the promise the superior search technology and artificial intelligence, the world is watching closely this week as IBM's Watson computer challenges human opponents to a little game of "Jeopardy!" Putting the contest in its historical context, The Boston Globe reports that, "The Watson system, the result of four years of work by IBM researchers around the world, is something of an heir to the company's Deep Blue computer, which defeated world champion Garry Kasparov in a chess match in the late 1990s."

The Watson project was designed to test whether a computing system could rival a human's ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed and accuracy -- no doubt, a skill consumer search engines like Google, Bing, and Ask.com would like to possess. The first night's round, which ended in a tie between Watson and human contestant Brad Rutter, is to be followed by two more.

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