Reading the face of IBM’s Watson

Posted to Data Art  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

Tonight on Jeopardy, the first day of the IBM Watson challenge, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter will go up against IBM’s super computer in the historic match of man versus machine. In place of a person, a computer screen with an animated graphic will stand representing Watson, but it’s not just some random icon.

The avatar is actually a work of generative art designed by Joshua Davis and implemented by Automata Studios. The avatar changes based on a number of factors such as confidence in an answer and question type for a total of 27 states. For example, when Watson enters an answer correctly, the swarm around the sphere flows to the top and turns green. When Watson answers incorrectly, the swarm turns orange and flows to the bottom.

Get the full description and a sense of the process in the video below.

In the battle between man versus machine, who are you rooting for?

[Video Link | Thanks, Branden]



The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2014

It’s always tough to pick my favorite visualization projects. Nevertheless, I gave it a go.

Top Brewery Road Trip, Routed Algorithmically

There are a lot of great craft breweries in the United States, but there is only so much time. This is the computed best way to get to the top rated breweries and how to maximize the beer tasting experience. Every journey begins with a single sip.

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.