I recently completed a week-long project to analyze the performance of today's dominant search engines when presented with questions from the famous Jeopardy! game show. The originator of the idea, Stephen Wolfram, used the results in a blog post about the similarities and differences between (where I work), and IBM's intriguing new question-answering system .
If you have already seen one of IBM's television spots, you'll know that in mid-February the system (dubbed "Watson") will compete on a special episode of Jeopardy against the two top Jeopardy champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.
This event is likely to go down as an iconic example of the advance of AI technology into a realm previously reserved for human judgement, a touchstone that is similar in many ways to IBM's successful challenge to the reigning chess world champion with its computer in the late 90s.