All the Things Watson Could Do
November 21, 2016
One of our favorite artificial intelligence topics has made the news again: Watson. Technology Review focuses on Watson’s job descriptions and his emergence in new fields, “IBM’s Watson Is Everywhere-But What Is It?” We all know that Watson won Jeopardy and has been deployed as the ultimate business intelligence solution, but what exactly does Watson do for a company?
The truth about Watson’s Jeopardy appearance is that very little of the technology was used. In reality, Watson is an umbrella name IBM uses for an entire group of their machine learning and artificial intelligence technology. The Watson brand is employed in a variety of ways from medical disease interpretation to creating new recipes via experimentation. The technology can be used for many industries and applied to a variety of scenarios. It all depends on what the business needs resolved. There is another problem:
Beyond the marketing hype, Watson is an interesting and potentially important AI effort. That’s because, for all the excitement over the ways in which companies like Google and Facebook are harnessing AI, no one has yet worked out how AI is going to fit into many workplaces. IBM is trying to make it easier for companies to apply these techniques, and to tap into the expertise required to do so.
IBM is experiencing problems of its own, but beyond those another consideration to take is Watson’s expense. Businesses are usually eager to incorporate new technology, if the benefit is huge. However, they are reluctant for the initial payout, especially if the technology is still experimental and not standard yet. Nobody wants to be a guinea pig, but someone needs to set the pace for everyone else. So who wants to deploy Watson?