IBM Research donates AAAI Feigenbaum Prize for Watson to the Wikimedia Foundation

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The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) has chosen IBM Research’s Watson team as the recipient of the 2013 Feigenbaum Prize. Watson is recognized as one of the most impressive results of AI research in the past several years, famously winning in the quiz show Jeopardy! against former grand champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings in February 2011. Watson is now being put to work in areas such as healthcare, finance and retail.

In recognition of the role Wikipedia played in the success of Watson in the Jeopardy! Challenge, the IBM team has asked AAAI to donate the award prize of $10,000 accompanying the Feigenbaum Prize to the Wikimedia Foundation. IBM Research said they were motivated to donate the prize to recognize and support the Wikimedia Foundation’s work, especially on Wikidata, which aims to become a part of providing everyone – whether human or machine – with easier access to the sum of all knowledge.

“Watson embodies a paradigm shift in artificial intelligence by applying a novel architecture to aggregate data and information from many different sources, including the full text of Wikipedia,” said Chris Welty of IBM Research.

The text and structured content of Wikipedia was analyzed using natural language processing methods. In addition, structural elements of Wikipedia – links, infoboxes, categories – were extracted and added to the massive knowledge base that Watson drew on during the game of Jeopardy! 

We’re grateful to IBM for their kind consideration and look forward to seeing what remarkable new feats the Watson team accomplishes next.

Matthew Roth
Wikimedia Foundation Global Communications Manager

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