is a question answering computer system capable of answering questions/query posed in natural language, and developed in IBMs DeepQA project by a research team led by principal investigator David Ferrucci. Watson was named after IBMs first CEO Thomas J. Watson. The computer system was specifically developed to answer questions on the quiz show Jeopardy!. In 2011, IBM Watson competed on Jeopardy! against former winners Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. Watson received the first place prize of $1 million.
Basically IBM Watson do the same as we human do. Watson do:-
IBM Watson had access to 200 million pages of structured and unstructured content consuming four terabytes of disk storage including the full text of Wikipedia, but was not connected to the Internet during the game. For each clue, Watsons three most probable responses were displayed on the television screen. Watson consistently outperformed its human opponents on the games signaling device, but had trouble in a few categories, notably those having short clues containing only a few words.
In February 2013, IBM announced that Watson software systems first commercial application would be for utilization management decisions in lung cancer treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in conjunction with health insurance company WellPoint. IBM Watsons former business chief Manoj Saxena says that 90% of nurses in the field who use Watson now follow its guidance.
Watson uses IBMs DeepQA software and the Apache UIMA (Unstructured Information Management Architecture) framework. The system was written in various languages, including Java, C++, and Prolog, and runs on the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 operating system using Apache Hadoop framework to provide distributed computing.
The system is workload-optimized, integrating massively parallel POWER7 processors and built on IBMs DeepQA technology, which it uses to generate hypotheses, gather massive evidence, and analyze data. Watson employs a cluster of ninety IBM Power 750 servers, each of which uses a 3.5 GHz POWER7 eight core processor, with four threads per core. In total, the system has 2,880 POWER7 processor threads and 16 terabytes of RAM.
According to John Rennie, Watson can process 500 gigabytes, the equivalent of a million books, per second. IBMs master inventor and senior consultant Tony Pearson estimated Watsons hardware cost at about three million dollars. Its Linpack performance stands at 80 TeraFLOPs, which is about half as fast as the cut-off line for the Top 500 Supercomputers list. According to Rennie, all content was stored in Watsons RAM for the Jeopardy game because data stored on hard drives would be too slow to be competitive with human Jeopardy champions.