During a practice jeopardy round, IBM's Watson kicked some human ass. This some very impressive stuff. I hope to see Watson continue to do this well in the official round in February.
I was particularly intrigued by the healthcare applications of a system like this. According to Dr. John Kelly, IBM VP, this is exactly where they will take this technology next. Watson is capable of scanning millions of pages of text into it's "brain" in seconds. They could use this to scan every medical text in the world, and make it available through one resource. Of course, presenting that much information in a sensible and meaningful way is the real problem. Doctors don't need to see that much information at once. They simply don't have time to filter through that much knowledge, even if it's potentially useful. It's like if I have a problem with Java, and you give me every book ever written on Java. The information can certainly help solve my problem, but it's not a very efficient way to find the solution.
I think a future application of AI will be to filter through this information and present it in a concise and meaningful way. I think that would an awesome direction for AI, though I think we might be a few years away from something like that.