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Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything

Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything By Stephen Baker

Author Stephen Baker, who examined the analytical, data-driven, behind-the-scenes side of corporate decision-making in his 2008 book “The Numerati,” continues his exploration of the melding of man and computer in the never-ending search for more knowledge in his latest book, “Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything.”

“Final Jeopardy” chronicles the story of “Watson,” the IBM computer brimming with artificial intelligence that famously parlayed an encyclopedia knowledge of, well, everything, with a deep, computerized understanding of the nuances of language (including puns and irony) to soundly defeat two humans champions on the TV quiz show “Jeopardy!”

The book takes the reader from the IBM lab where “Watson” was conceived and developed to the quiz show podium where “Watson” recently dispatched Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a battle of wits, knowledge and recall. The feat drew worldwide media attention, but according to IBM, the TV show was simply a demonstration of what “Watson” is capable of doing. The best, IBM says, is yet to come as “Watson” turns its attention to some far more important and complex societal and business problems.

Published Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011

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