"The place to go if you''re really interested in this version of
the quest for creating Artificial Intelligence (AI)."-Seattle
For centuries, people have dreamed of creating a machine that
thinks like a human. Scientists have made progress: computers can
now beat chess grandmasters and help prevent terrorist attacks. Yet
we still await a machine that exhibits the rich complexity of human
thought-one that doesn''t just crunch numbers, or take us to a
relevant Web page, but understands us and gives us what we need.
With the creation of Watson, IBM''s Jeopardy! playing
computer, we are one step closer to that goal.
But how did we get here? In Final Jeopardy, Stephen Baker traces
the arc of Watson''s "life," from its birth in the IBM labs to its
big night on the podium. We meet Hollywood moguls and Jeopardy!
masters, genius computer programmers and ambitious scientists,
including Watson''s eccentric creator, David Ferrucci. We see how a
new generation of Watsons could transform medicine, the law,
marketing, even science itself, as machines process huge amounts of
data at lightning speed, answer our questions, and possibly come up
with new hypotheses. As fast and fun as the game itself, Final
Jeopardy shows how smart machines will fit into our world-and
how they''ll disrupt it.
"Like Tracy Kidder''s Soul of a New Machine, Baker''s book finds us
at the dawn of a singularity. It''s an excellent case study, and
does good double duty as a Philip K. Dick scenario,
"Baker''s narrative is both charming and terrifying . . . an
entertaining romp through the field of artificial intelligence-and
a sobering glimpse of things to come."-Publishers Weekly,