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IBM, Universities aim to develop Watson's Question Answering technology

IBM, Universities aim to develop Watson's Question Answering technology

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The plan is to develop an open architecture---including open source software---so researchers can collaborate on Watson's QA technology and apply those enhancements in the field.

IBM and eight universities from around the world will collaborate on developing Big Blue's Watson supercomputer and the question answering (QA) technology behind it.

Watson on Monday will appear on Jeopardy to compete against humans.

The universities signed up to advance Watson's QA technology include:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and its Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab;
  • University of Texas, which will collaborate on automated reasoning and common sense;
  • University of Southern California, which will focus on information extraction and parsing;
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), which will work on visualization tools;
  • University at Albany, which has developed QA capability for longer investigations;
  • University of Trento, which will focus on machine learning and conversational agents;
  • University of Massachusetts, which will work on information retrieval;
  • Carnegie Mellon, which already contributed algorithms to Watson.

The plan is to develop an open architecture---including open source software---so researchers can collaborate on Watson's QA technology and apply those enhancements in the field.

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Larry Dignan

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan is editor-in-chief of SmartPlanet and ZDNet. He is also editorial director of TechRepublic. Previously, he was an editor at eWeek, Baseline and CNET News. He has written for WallStreetWeek.com, Inter@ctive Week, New York Times and Financial Planning. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Delaware. He is based in New York but resides in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure