Posts Tagged ibm

New ‘Jeopardy’ Competition Will Feature Smart Computer

Posted by on Tuesday, 14 December, 2010

Ibm Corporate Headquarters Entrance - Photo By Coolcaesar

 – Tuesday, the producers of Jeopardy announced a computer application named “Watson,” and programmed by IBM’s artificial intelligence team will compete against two human beings on Jeopardy in February of next year. The competition will air from February 14 to 16, 2011. “Watson” will be pitted against two of the show’s most successful winners, Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings.

Although this contest is similar to a chess match that chess champion Garry Kasparov played against an IBM computer in 1997, the Jeopardy format is more challenging because the questions often deal with puns, riddles and subtleties.

“Watson” will be represented on a screen as a round avatar, rather than a full robot, and is named for IBM founder Thomas J. Watson. It has already been tested in over 50 Jeopardy-like games against real people. IBM and Jeopardy will not release the win-loss tally however. 

Jennings holds the record for longest winning streak on Jeopardy at 74 games in 2004-2005. Rutter has won more money than anyone else on the show. In total he’s claimed more than $3.3 million in four appearances. The winner of the February match-up will take home $1 million. IBM will donate the winnings to charity, and Jennings and Rutter have declared they will give away half of their prize.

“Watson” was developed by IBM with the hopes that one day it will be a prototype for other programs to help doctors diagnose illnesses or aid customers with technology support.

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Treematics Receives Award For Lasers Used to Measure Trees

Posted by on Monday, 6 December, 2010

 – Today, a company based in Cork, Ireland has received awards from the Irish Society of Foresters and IBM’s Smartcamp. The firm, called Treemetrics, has developed technology that utilizes lasers to scan trees’ height, straightness, taper and volume. This info is then used by foresters to help determine which trees to cut down.

In the past, foresters have walked around wooded areas and manually measured trees, using calipers and their eyes to make assessments. According to Treemetric’s CEO Enda Keane, about 20% of forests worldwide are annually felled unnecessarily due to inaccurate estimations. Better measurements will decrease the number of mistakes and allow fewer trees to be cut down while maximizing value. Using the new laser system will also reduce the cost of logging, because it is faster than manual measuring.

Presently, Treemetrics’ laser system is being used in Ireland, Australia, Norway, the United Kingdom and the USA. Keane’s next developement will be to add software that directly connects forests to sawmills. Forests would be logged for optimal yield and sawmills would receive the logs they required in a timely manner.

Treemetrics has only 7 employees and has obtained over $1.87 million in private and government funding.

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IBM Makes Leeway In Silicone Photonics Arena

Posted by on Wednesday, 1 December, 2010

– The Wall Street Journal reported today that IBM has announced it’s making major headway in improving speeds in computer chips. The race is intense in the computer industry to develop computer chips that are laser-based. Conventional electrical chips use silicone, and Big Blue is leading the research to use lasers to send data in the form of light signals through the silicone at much faster rates than standard optical components. IBM hopes to generate chips that send data at a rate of a trillion bits per second. This is twenty five times faster than optical components used today.

Intel and Luxtera, in addition to IBM, are also working in the same field of silicone photonics. Luxtera, based in Carlsbad, California, is vying for the same limelight as IBM, and claims that it’s current chips are already ahead of IBM’s technology.

IBM states that it’s first commercial products in this new silicone integrated nanophotonics field will hit the market in three to five years.

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