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Breakthrough in Artificial Intelligence

Believe it or not, it has to do with a TV quiz show - An I.B.M. computer named Deep Blue beat world chess champ Garry Kasparov in 1997. Now I.B.M. has developed a computer named Watson that can beat a human in the TV quiz show "Jeopardy."

I.B.M. is in the final stages of completing a computer program to compete against human "Jeopardy!" contestants. If the program beats the humans, artificial intelligence will have made a great leap forward.

Jeopardy is actually much more complex than chess, which has fixed parameters. On problem is that the clues to the correct answers are often based on inflection. In the April 27th edition of the New York Times, John Markoff writes, "The complexity of the challenge is underscored by the subtlety involved in capturing the exact meaning of a spoken sentence. For example, the sentence 'I never said she stole my money' can have seven different meanings depending on which word is stressed."

Markoff quotes one of Watson's creators, Eric Nyberg, as saying, "We love those sentences. Those are the ones we talk about when we

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