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IBM's Watson to face 'Jeopardy' champs

Alex, I'll take Big Brains vs. Big Iron for $1 million. An IBM program called Watson will face Jeopardy's most successful champions.

Watson, a program powered by an IBM Power7 server, will face "Jeopardy" standouts Ken Jennings (left) and Brad Rutter in a competition scheduled to air February 14-16. Two matches will be played over three consecutive days.

Watson is named after company founder Thomas J. Watson and optimized to quickly analyze clues for complex language such as subtle meaning, irony, and riddles, IBM said in a statement announcing the contest.

Jennings won more than $2.5 million during his record 72 consecutive "Jeopardy" wins, and Rutter is the show's biggest winner with more than $3.2 million. The computer program took and passed the same contestant test that humans take to qualify to be on the show and has competed in more than 50 "sparring games" against former Jeopardy Tournament of Champions contestants.

For more on this story, read IBM's Watson set for 'Jeopardy' battle on CNET News.