Building Watson: An Overview of the DeepQA Project
sponsored by IBM

IBM Research undertook a challenge to build a computer system that could compete at the human champion level in real time on the American TV quiz show, Jeopardy! The extent of the challenge includes fielding a real-time automatic contestant on the show, which helped them address requirements that led to the design of the DeepQA architecture and the implementation of Watson.

After three years of intense research and development by a core team of about 20 researchers, Watson is performing at human expert levels in terms of precision, confidence, and speed at the Jeopardy! quiz show.

This paper outlines the concept of Jeopardy!, the Jeopardy Challenge itself, the breakdown on processing of questions on the show, the metrics involved in answering them, details on the DeepQA approach and its ramifications on businesses today, and so much more.

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