I’m an avid Jeopardy fan. I watched all of Ken Jennings’ glorious 70+ win run and match up with the IBM’s Watson Supercomputer. It was a sad day for humanity when Watson terminated the puny humans Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, the two greatest champions Jeopardy ever produced. While I have a few misgivings about how Watson won (i.e. Watson could press the buzzer much faster than the people playing), it was still an amazing leap forward in artificial intelligence. Last year IBM announced that Health Care would become the first commercial application for Watson. Now comes news today that Watson is getting deployed by Blue Cross/Blue Shield to help diagnose and treat cancer. It will synthesize massive amounts of data and eventually power a cloud based application that physicians can use.
The article details some juicy tech specs for the tech fetishist out there: “The Watson Supercomputer is made up of 90 IBM Power 750 Express servers powered by eight-core processors — four in each machine for a total of 32 processors per machine. The servers are virtualized using a kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) implementation, creating a server cluster with a total processing capacity of 80 teraflops. A teraflop is one trillion operations per second.”
This is the type of technology that makes you proud of humanity. Of course, they are probably deploying a Watson for battlefield analysis right now, which means we’re probably inching closer to Skynet and the Rise of the Machines. I, for one, welcome our robotic overlords and pledge my allegiance to them, should they be reading this article. Humans reading this article can refer to the my post from yesterday for organizing the resistance.