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IBM

IBM's Question-Answering System "Watson" Revisited 170

religious freak writes "IBM has created and made the question answering algorithm, Watson, available online. Watson has competed in and won a majority of (mock) matches against humans in Jeopardy. Watson does not connect to the Internet to answer his questions, but rather seeks answers using many different algorithms then employs a ranking algorithm to choose the best answer." We mentioned Watson last year as well.

A Closed Off System? 177

AnarkiNet wonders: "In an age of malware which installs itself via browsers, rootkits installing themselves from audio cds, and loads of other shady things happening on your computer, would a 'Closed OS' be successful? The idea is an operating system (open or closed source), which allows no third party software to be installed, ever. Yes, not even your own coded programs would run unless they existed in the OS-maker-managed database of programs that could be installed. Some people might be aghast at this idea but I feel that it could be highly useful for example in the corporate setting where there would be no need for a secretary to have anything on his/her computer other than the programs available from the OS-maker. For now, let's not worry if people can 'get around' the system. If each program that made up the collection of allowed programs was 'up to scratch' and had 'everything you need', would you really have an issue with being unable to install a different program that did the same thing?"

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"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead

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