Which is correct?
I’m watching Watson, an IBM supercomputer, face off against top-ranked human players on Jeopardy! This is a ________ event.
A historical event is just something that happened in the past. A historic event is something significant that either happened in the past or that is current but has significance for the future.
Why is the competition between Watson and two top-ranked Jeopardy! players significant? It’s an amazing breakthrough for artificial intelligence.
Watson is optimized as a “question answering” system, combining natural language processing and machine learning with deep analytics and the lightning-fast reflexes more typical of your average supercomputer.
In the future, the abilities of Watson and other supercomputers like him could enable much more intelligent search engines and decision support systems. As an IBM rep commented, when applied to Health IT, Watson’s abilities could be — quite literally — life-saving. A historic event, indeed.
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