In 1997, there was a very famous chess match. The world champion chess player, Gary Kasparov, went up against a special challenger: a computer. The computer was called “Deep Blue” and it was built by IBM just to play chess. Deep Blue won the six-game chess match.
This year, IBM came up with a new challenge. They decided to build a computer that could match wits with two humans on a game show called Jeopardy!. The computer is called Watson, and its “brain power” is equal to thousands of home computers.
Playing chess is something computers can do very well because it relies on quickly deciding between different moves. However, answering questions and understanding English is not something computers do well. In Jeopardy!, the questions may include riddles, puns and cultural references. These are things humans are good at, but computers are not.