David Ferrucci is the lead researcher and principal investigator for the Watson/Jeopardy! project. He has been a Research Staff Member at IBM’s T.J. Watson’s Research Center since 1995 where he heads up the Semantic Analysis and Integration department. Ferrucci focuses on technologies for automatically discovering valuable knowledge in natural language content and using it to enable better decision-making.
In 2007, Ferrucci took on the Jeopardy! Challenge––tasked to create a computer system that can rival human champions at the game of Jeopardy!. As the Principal Investigator for the exploratory research project dubbed DeepQA, he focused on advancing automatic, open-domain question answering using massively parallel evidence based hypothesis generation and evaluation. He and his team delivered results that have out-performed all expectations and have demonstrated world-class performance at a task previously thought insurmountable with the current state-of-the-art. Watson, the computer system built by Ferrucci’s team, has competed with top Jeopardy! champions and has demonstrated how DeepQA can make dramatic advances for intelligent decision support in areas including medicine, finance, publishing, government and law.
Ferrucci has been the Principal Investigator on several government-funded research programs on automatic question answering, intelligent systems and saleable text analytics. His team at IBM consists of 28 researchers and software engineers specializing in the areas of Natural Language Processing (NLP), Software Architecture, Information Retrieval, Machine Learning and Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR&R).
Ferrucci graduated from Manhattan College with a BS in Biology and from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1994 with a PhD in Computer Science specializing in knowledge representation and reasoning.