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The news in this category has been selected by us because we thought it would be interestingto hard core cluster geeks. Of course, you don't have to be a cluster geek to read the news stories.

Build your very own Watson Jr!

Image Just got word about a recipe for building your own IBM Watson. Of course you don't have to buy a rack of servers because Tony Pearson has outlined how to build a Watson Jr. What he suggests is small person cluster. Maybe one like this! Of course, you will loose some functionality needed to be on Jeopardy and some speed, but you can have a new friend in your basement (or garage, or bedroom). More to come. See our other Watson coverage below.

The shameless self promotion is at the end

The following news items have hit my radar screen recently. I'm sure I missed a lot of other important news, but here are some stories I found interesting. As always, there are plenty of links from which to explore further.

Speaking of HPC news, Jeff Squyres, fearless Open MPI Maven, has posted an interesting blog post called Unexpected Linux memory migration. Might want to read this one.

ImageAs I predicted, IBM's Watson pretty much trounced the humans. It was not a complete romp, however. The final score was $77,147 for Watson, $21,600 for Brad Rutter, and $24,000 for Ken Jennings. At it was an exhibition match, the $1,000,000 first prize goes to IBM (and then on to charity). Jennings earns $300,000 and Rutter comes away with $200,000. Both Jennings and Rutter said they will donate half their proceeds to charity. My assumption is IBM funded much of the event (it took place at their facility).

The third and final day was pretty much game playing. There was no background or build-up. I assume if you did not figure out what was going on by now, no amount of background was going to help. The second game was much closer then the first one. The human players actually got a chance to answer some questions.

ImageI suppose all the misery of flying around the country has finally given me an advantage. The final Jeopardy answer was, "Its largest airport was named for a World War II hero; its second largest, for a World War II battle." I knew the question right away and so did Jennings and Rutter. Watson's question was "What is Toronto ???" Sorry old boy, that is wrong. To his credit he did note his lack of confidence in the answer with three question marks.

ImageI recorded Jeopardy last night because asking my wife to watch 2880 processors play Jeopardy against two humans rather than go out for a Valentine's Day dinner was probably not a good idea. I just finished watching the first day this morning. What follows are some thoughts and observations as the latest man vs machine contest unfolds.


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