DeepQA: The Technology Behind Watson

Spangler photo

W. Scott Spangler,
STSM and Master Inventor, IBM Almaden Research Center

Date: September 22, 2011 (Thursday)
Time: 5:00 - 6:15pm (Reception starts at 4:15pm)
Venue: Wang Gungwu Lecture Hall, Graduate House, HKU

             [Location Map]

Please click the corresponding links for viewing the slides presentation, the video, and an article in SCMP regarding this talk.

This year is the centennial of both The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the International Business Machines (IBM). The Department of Computer Science and the Faculty of Engineering of HKU, together with IBM jointly present an Engineering Centenary Lecture on "DeepQA: The Technology Behind Watson" by W. Scott Spangler, one of the Master Inventors at IBM. Watson is an IBM supercomputer which competed and beat two all-time champions at a TV quiz show.

In February of 2011 a computer program designed and built by IBM Research defeated the two best human players on one of the most challenging question/answer game shows of all time, Jeopardy! Named, Watson, after IBM's founder, this event was largely recognized as a significant milestone in the advancement of Artificial Intelligence. In this talk, Scott will discuss the technology behind Watson and how it can be adapted to solve problems and drive progress in various fields. The ability of a computer to understand natural language holds enormous potential for making the world’s systems smarter, as we apply powerful analytics to vast quantities of data and real-world human behavior in medicine, government, commerce, finance and beyond.

About the Speaker:
Scott Spangler is a Senior Technical Staff Member and Master Inventor at the IBM Almaden Research Center. He has been doing knowledge base and data mining research for the past 20 years. Since coming to IBM in 1996, Scott has developed software components for data visualization and text mining, which are available through eClassifier, Business Insights Workbench, and COBRA service offerings. Scott holds a Bachelor in Math from MIT and a Master in Computer Science from the University of Texas. Scott holds 28 patents and has authored numerous publications. Scott had recently co-authored a book entitled, Mining the Talk: Unlocking the Business Value in Unstructured Information.

Click here for more details on IBM Centennial and Watson

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