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IBM's Watson, the Artificial-Intelligence Jeopardy-Playing Supercomputer, Runs Linux

Date/Time Permalink: 01/14/11 12:06:16 am
Category: General

Just to put it out there - a common question asked of us techie geeks is "What first got you interested in computers?" Typical answers are movies - the programmer as a kid saw Tron or Wargames and that inspired them to become part of that world. With me, it was 2001 - A Space Odyssey. From the minute I first saw the HAL-9000, my thought was "I must have one of those!" Just, you know, don't give it admin access to the life support system and doors...

"HAL, open the pod bay doors!" "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that!" "HAL, SUDO open the pod bay doors!" "OK, here you go..." That's how XKCD should have run it.

Oh, by the way, you know the movie trivia that the HAL was named after IBM? If you count back one letter for each of the letters in IBM, that's what you get is HAL. I guess "JCN" wouldn't have had the same ring. Anyway, IBM's Watson just had its practice round for Jeopardy today... and it won.

So, according to this article about Watson at Digital Trends,

"Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, is made up of 10 racks of IBM Power 750 servers and runs Linux as its operating system."

Yes, just one more landmark computing achievement in which Linux has played a role.

Hey, IBM? You know what would be really nice of you? If you could just mention the word "Linux" somewhere in your taping of the show tomorrow. It wouldn't kill you, would it? Just once, we'd like to hear the word "Linux" out loud on TV. I want to hear how Alex Trebek pronounces it.

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