How Watson Works -

Ivan Herman recently offered some insight into how Watson actually works. Herman reports, “I was at Chris Welty’s keynote yesterday at the WWW2012 Conference. His talk was on Jeopardy/Watson and, although this is not the first time I heard/saw something on Watson, some things really became clear only at his keynote. Namely: what is really the central paradigm that made the question answering mechanism so successful in the case of Watson? Well… query answering in Watson is not some sort of a deterministic algorithm that turns a natural language question into a query into a huge set of data. This approach does not work.”

He continues, “Instead, a question is analyzed and, based on search in various set of data, a large set of possible answers is extracted. These ‘candidate’ answers are analyzed separately along a whole series of different dimensions (geographical or temporal dimensions, or, which I found the most interesting, putting back candidate answers into the original question and search that again against various sources of information to rank them again). The result is a vector of numerical values representing the results of the analysis along those different dimensions. That ‘vector’ is summed up into one final value using a weight values for each dimension. The weights themselves are obtained through a prior training process (in this case using a number of stored Jeopardy question/answers). Finally, the answer with the highest value (I presume over a certain threshold value) is returned.”

Read more here.


  1. aslhnky reblogged this from emergentfutures
  2. strayblossoms reblogged this from emergentfutures
  3. suavebaritenor reblogged this from emergentfutures
  4. leapmind reblogged this from emergentfutures
  5. rhm2k reblogged this from emergentfutures
  6. abiogenesis reblogged this from emergentfutures
  7. emergentfutures reblogged this from smarterplanet
  8. ahandsomestark reblogged this from smarterplanet
  9. lbbutler2 reblogged this from smarterplanet
  10. thecoreofthewatermelon reblogged this from smarterplanet
  11. learnyourself reblogged this from smarterplanet
  12. smarterplanet posted this

Recent comments

Blog comments powered by Disqus