Friday, February 18, 2011

IBM Watson computer wins Jeopardy challenge - What's next?

Earlier this week, the IBM Watson supercomputer defeated two former human champions on the TV show Jeopardy!  This represents a tremendous achievement in the field of natural language processing and makes me proud to be an IBM employee.  However, IBM didn't spend years and millions of dollar on this project to win a game on TV.  There are much broader implications.  Ted has a great video to discuss what Watson's next job should be.  Some ideas:

  • Executive (c-suite) assistant.  What are the ramifications of making specific business decisions? Not only does the system provide an answer, it provides probability and the rationale behind each one
  • Doctor’s assistant and physician support. With the ever increasing costs of healthcare and shortages of skilled medical professionals, there is a potential to leverage Watson.  Watson could also look through a patient's case history, ask questions and make a diagnosis and recommend treatment.  
  • Travel assistant and city planning.  "Navigator on steroids" where the driver could ask questions like "what's the best route."  Help planning a trip based on my preferences. 
What do you think Watson's next job should be?

1 comment:

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