Jeopardy, Watson, IBM, Google, and the Future of Search

I am a comma-aholic – it’s probably my greatest technical flaw as a writer  – my overuse of commas.  See how I just dodged them there though?  I threw in some dashes instead, which is probably equally egregious.  I mention it because I just set a personal record for “number of commas in the title of a blog post” with this current post.  Instead of thinking up some sort of witty, Altucher-esque title, though, I just wanted to get the topics right out there and throw this one out to the audience.

By now I am guessing that most people have seen IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, thrash the two human Jeopardorks earlier this week:


It’s really quite impressive.  My question, which I asked aloud on Twitter last night, is this: Shouldn’t this have been a Google project?  Isn’t Watson’s “thought” process based on search and evaluate logic, and does IBM’s success in this endeavor mean that they are a threat to Google’s search empire?

From a technical perspective, it seems apparent to me that IBM has the technical know-how to compete with Google.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that they will launch a competing search engine.  I feel like Google’s established dominance is somewhat self-reinforcing – a kind of chicken-and-the-egg cycle: do people use Google because it has the best results? or does Google have the best results because so many people use them, etc, rinse, repeat.

Anyway, are there any thoughts out there about IBM assailing GOOG’s search dominance?  Has this been previously discussed elsewhere?  I admit that I have not been involved in the topic in depth.


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