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Whitepaper: Building Watson – The DeepQA Project

In this whitepaper originally published in AI Magazine, IBM researchers describe the systems-level approach used in Watson’s DeepQA architecture and how it applies to research in the broader field of Artificial Intelligence.

IBM Research undertook a challenge to build a computer system that could compete at the human champion level in real time on the American TV quiz show, Jeopardy. The extent of the challenge includes ielding a real-time automatic contestant on the show, not merely a laboratory exercise. The Jeopardy Challenge helped us address requirements that led to the design of the DeepQA architecture and the implementation of Watson. After three years of intense research and development by a core team of about 20 researchers, Watson is performing at human expert levels in terms of precision, conidence, and speed at the Jeopardy quiz show. Our results strongly suggest that DeepQA is an effective and extensible architecture that can be used as a foundation for combining, deploying, evaluating, and advancing a wide range of algorithmic techniques to rapidly advance the field of question answering (QA).

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