The latest news from the fast-evolving world of the Data Economy:
Making it to the "Jeopardy!" stage even for the elite among trivia buffs isn't easy. Each year, hordes of self-proclaimed quiz whizzes head to LA to sit in an auditorium as Alex Trebek's face looms over them on a video screen and they prepare to take the infamous "Jeopardy!" weeding exam—just to get a shot at appearing on the actual program. Many try; few make it to the next step. I've known people to get 47 out of 50 questions right and still not make it on air.
But at least they didn't have to face IBM's Watson, the computing system that took all the fun out of Audio Daily Doubles—and all things answered in the form of a question—by notching one more win for machine over man a few years back. It beat every human to the clicker with a machine-generated question when responding to Alex's answers.
Now it's on to bigger, but possibly littler, things for Watson, which has been put to use in sectors, including health care, since his diva turn on "Jeopardy!" IBM's move to make what one IBM executive called Big Blue's "most prized possession" more widely available so you can use it as part of your next "killer app" comes amid intense competition from big technology firms to bring supercomputer power to the masses.
Or, as Alex Trebek might say, referring to the "Potent Processors" category: "The fight to control the world of cloud computing."
Answer: "What is IBM's strategy to make Watson more widely available as other tech giants, such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft, pursue similar "power to the people" profit strategies?"
And for those who fail to make it onto "Jeopardy!" to face Watson, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or CNBC's David Faber, at least now they can stand side by side with Watson and get the machine to work for them. IBM's Stephen Gold, vice president of Watson Solutions, told Bloomberg, "Watson can be this ultimate assistant to help individuals get their questions answered"—in the form of a question, of course.
(Read more: 10 strangest data findings you need to know)