Watson is an artificial intelligence program developed by IBM designed to answer questions posed in natural language. Named after IBM’s founder, Thomas J. Watson, Watson is being developed as part of the DeepQA research project. The program runs on POWER7 processor-based systems.
In 2011, Watson competed on the television quiz show Jeopardy! as a test of its abilities. In a two-game, combined-point match aired in three Jeopardy! episodes running from February 14–16, Watson bested Brad Rutter, the biggest all-time money winner on Jeopardy!, and Ken Jennings, the record holder for the longest championship streak. Watson received first prize of $1 million, while Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter received $300,000 and $200,000, respectively. Jennings and Rutter pledged to donate half their winnings to charity, while IBM divided Watson’s winnings among two charities. This was the first man-versus-machine competition in Jeopardy!’s history.