David Ferrucci, the IBM Research Staff Member who led the development of Watson — the question-answering system that bested human competitors on Jeopardy! in February 2011 — recently visited the National Science Foundation (NSF) to describe the fundamental advances underpinning the supercomputer. While there, Ferrucci took a few minutes to sit down for an interview by Helen Hastings, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) in Alexandria, Va., who earlier this year was named one of the recipients of the National Center for Women & Information Technology’s (NCWIT) 2012 Award for Aspirations in Computing.
Hastings asked Ferrucci how he assembled his team, the challenges the team faced, what the Watson success means for search, natural language processing, and semantic analysis, and the next steps for Watson in the context of application areas such as healthcare.
Check out the interview — just over 10 minutes long — after the jump…
(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)