V3.co.uk had the chance to visit the Big Blue's HQ in New York State this week; a 25-acre site resembling a small town.
About half a mile down a winding woodland lane the bus turned a corner to reveal a suitably shiny metal and glass structure that wouldn't be out of place in a sci-fi flick.
V3.co.uk was given a tour around the building, with IBM's most prominent inventions on display including the Babbage Analytical Engine and the Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator (SSEC), pictured below, which was essentially a giant electromechanical calculator.
The Babbage Analytical Engine, once the height of hi-tech:
After a quick lunch with Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of IBM, another bus took the bloggers to the IBM Industry Solutions Lab (ISL), where the proverbial magic happens.
The best part of the day included information and demos about technology that IBM is prepping including its 'Lab on a chip' device that aims to expedite the way blood is tested in hospitals.
The artificial intelligence question and answer system known as 'Watson' also caught the eye of V3.co.uk. IBM's version of Skynet has been programmed to play against humans in the game of Jeopardy, a game which tests general knowledge and the ability to understand complex questions.
By being programmed to absorb material and put it into context, Watson can understand questions, and buzz in with correct answers. This October it will go up against former Jeopardy champions in a 50 game series to see just how good it is.
Whether Watson's thirst for knowledge will lead him/it to take over the world remains to be seen. For now, it appears to be content playing games of Jeopardy, or that's what it wants us to think anyway.
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