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January 17th, 2011
01:39 PM ET

BIG I: Supercomputers vs. Humans

IBM's Watson supercomputer is taking on the best of the best from Jeopardy.  The episodes air February 14, 15 & 16.

Click here to see a behind-the-scenes preview from the great folks at

Click here to check out the IBM Watson program.

We spoke with TED creator Richard Saul Wurman.  He's also the founder of TEDMED.

Click here to check out TED conferences.

Click here to check out TEDMED.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Anchors • The Big I
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Shaun, Cleveland Ohio

    Did I hear that guy right?, he said Fire was/ is a technology? Was he alive back then?

    January 17, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  2. Dr. Subhas Mohapatra, Scientist

    Dear Ali: I admire your efforts to bring modern technology to CNN viewers. As the world's population grows, we not only need new methods of food production, but we also need to learn conserve resoures and protect the environment. Soil Less Agriculture (SLA) is one technology that has answers for many problems related do hunger, poverty, environment and energy.
    Not only I am working on the above aspects for more than a decade, I am now using them in India and HAITI for social benefits. If you are interested to bring these technologes to your viewers, feel free to contact me at the above e-mail or at 919-971-0181

    January 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  3. David Walter

    I just viewed your segment on "Supercomputers vs. Humans' & your interview with Richard Saul Wurman...

    I think an interesting follow-up dialog to this would be a discussion on the potential negative implications of 'Artificial Intelligence' running out of control.

    There is the group of scientist running a group called 'The Singularity Institute' – – that in fact is taking this concept very seriously.

    Check it out – we might be closer than you think...!

    January 17, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  4. Radwan Chowdhury

    Ali what is the address to forward my resume to congressman. Please post the address

    January 17, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  5. Christina Ginn, CNN Producer

    January 17, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  6. Johan

    A sufficiently intelligent computer that can self-learn to be able to reason like humans is not as far off as people think. Technology progresses exponentially and not linearly. If computer intelligence needs to reach 100 to be as smart as humans and their capacity doubles every 5 year, it will take 35 years to get to 128. By year 30 it will only have an 'intelligence' of 64. So for 30 years it seems like nothing is happening and it's all just 'talk'. But over the next 5 years (the final doubling to break through the '100' level) things changes very quickly. The most expensive and fastest supercomputers are currently approaching the lower end of human brain processing power. We are getting very close to the final doubling of computer processing power to reach human level intelligence. The consencus is that in a little bit more than a decade computers with human-like brain capacity will be affordable. They will be able to start the process of self-learning which will be much faster than the 20 or more years it takes to teach and educate a human and they most likely will become self aware like us. Once computers have sufficient memory, 'brain power' or processing capactiy and a base operating system, self-learning will follow quickly. Just like we (the most intelligent beings on the planet) have designed computers (who will become the most intelligent 'life form' on the planet), they will then design their own improved or future selfs.

    January 20, 2011 at 9:42 am |
  7. Kimani

    I share Tinessa's sentiments. It's just matter of time before someone develops a super computer that can reason on its own and engage us both mentally and physically .

    I recently watched a documentary about the Porsche factory and was amazed at the robots employed there. They could open cars door and work on the vehicles as they moved along the assembly with amazing precision. So it's just a matter of time before we see one on the streets with a mind of its own.

    Just praying the virus makers don't catch up with it or else! Yknow what!

    Try and read John Lerrato's " Looking For The Others And Vice-Versa" and you will be pretty amazed. The robots are competing with man for the most Superior Being on Earth's slot. And the way it's going, machines are ahead of us in a couple of aspects already.

    January 20, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  8. Kimani

    The topic to read in full is "Man's relegation and His likely Successor. " You will laugh through but start thinking deeply about all this super comps vs mankind

    January 20, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  9. Christopher Hammond

    I really would like to hear you refer to viewers of CNN as "our viewers" instead of "my viewers". Sounds less self serving. I want to see you around a long time without your colleagues and management thinking you too egotistical.

    January 21, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  10. Jon Parker

    Amen to your comments about tackling the budget. Keep harping on it. I cannot believe how little attention this gets with specifics, not demagoguery

    January 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm |