Breaking News
News & Analysis

What's next for IBM's Watson?

2/17/2011 11:51 PM EST
22 comments
NO RATINGS
More Related Links
View Comments: Threaded | Newest First | Oldest First
wilber_xbox
User Rank
Manager
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
wilber_xbox   2/18/2011 12:47:05 AM
NO RATINGS
yesterday, i watched this achievement getting coverage on Jon Stewart's Daily show. I did not know before that what IBM's Watson was all about. It took IBM 6 years to develop this, i wonder how much money did they invest? And of course its services can (in principle) be applied in all the thinkable consultancy services.

R_Colin_Johnson
User Rank
Blogger
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
R_Colin_Johnson   2/18/2011 1:25:16 AM
NO RATINGS
IBM spent 10s if not 100s of millions developing Watson, but they did it with much more foresight than their previous Deep Blue computer that beat chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov. By crafting it using standard servers and a plug-in database, IBM can now plug-in other domains and quickly get Watson-like applications running in commercial fields.

nicolas.mokhoff
User Rank
Rookie
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
nicolas.mokhoff   2/18/2011 1:00:48 PM
NO RATINGS
The Toronto answer to U.S. cities question that stomped Watson stomped me too. Its turns out there are seven states with cities names Toronto, but Watson was "smart" enough to "understand" that the answer had a low-probability of being correct, thus was programmed to wager pocket change to stay ahead in the game. That in itself is monumental progress in human-like decision-making. Watson will do great at horse racing tracks, too.

cramcram
User Rank
Rookie
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
cramcram   2/18/2011 9:34:06 PM
NO RATINGS
Watson had to wager after the category was listed but BEFORE the clue was given, i.e., during the commercial break. It's wager could only be based on the category and the relative positions of the other contestants, not the question(answer) itself. Since there were fixed payouts for each position it could have bet 0 and still won. See the wiki page on Jeopardy for an explanation of the Final Jeopardy round.

nicolas.mokhoff
User Rank
Rookie
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
nicolas.mokhoff   2/18/2011 1:04:23 PM
NO RATINGS
Take a look at "What is Toronto????" here: http://www-943.ibm.com/innovation/us/watson

yalanand
User Rank
Rookie
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
yalanand   2/18/2011 1:12:46 PM
NO RATINGS
"Using a cluster of 50 Intel processors, Retrevo scans the product specifications, reviews, user reports, blog entries and other web-based information sources to answer user's questions about what products offer the" Wow this is simply amazing. I am sure this will help us solve many real-time complex problems. Kudos to IBM for contributing this machine to the mankind.

selinz
User Rank
CEO
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
selinz   2/18/2011 1:54:56 PM
NO RATINGS
How about computer based trading... Oh, wait. Already been done... :-)

Patk0317
User Rank
CEO
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
Patk0317   2/18/2011 2:32:01 PM
NO RATINGS
I was sitting next to an IBMer in an airline club yesterday. Overheard him tell a colleague that Watson is now going on tour, but didn't expect many challenges as people wouldn't want to look like idiots when they lost!

goafrit
User Rank
Manager
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
goafrit   2/18/2011 4:07:59 PM
NO RATINGS
Toronto is now a US city. Anyway, humans made it. I pity the two guys that decided to compete in that show. Too bad for them.

nicolas.mokhoff
User Rank
Rookie
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
nicolas.mokhoff   2/18/2011 4:09:23 PM
NO RATINGS
People better get used to looking like idiots; they will lose more and more to computers. We "lost" to computers when we started pecking away on electronic qwerty keyboards substituting for most conversations. We also "lost" the art of storytelling when books made storytelling a science. But we gained an awful lot of new avenues of expression, as witnessed by conversations on websites. Now we need to filter most of them. Oh but wait, aren't we doing that at cocktail parties already?

yalanand
User Rank
Rookie
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
yalanand   2/19/2011 11:53:52 AM
NO RATINGS
@Nic_Mokhoff True nick, I agree with you that we better get used to look like idiots, because this is just the beginning of Supercomputer era. Only question is will these computers rule mankind ? or will the thinking capability be limited.

Charles.Desassure
User Rank
Manager
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
Charles.Desassure   2/18/2011 4:32:09 PM
NO RATINGS
This is great for IBM. IBM has been out of the headlines for a few months and I am happy to see that they are back in the news...good job my dear Waston.

Kinnar
User Rank
CEO
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
Kinnar   2/18/2011 7:16:18 PM
NO RATINGS
I think IBM has got some product the stand distinctively along with Microsoft and Apple with this intutive technology demonstration. I hope this will be the become the technology in demand in the comming future.

Luis Sanchez
User Rank
Rookie
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
Luis Sanchez   2/18/2011 10:06:45 PM
NO RATINGS
I'm amazed! This is like when my grandmother first saw a TV. She was all freaked out! I didn't see the show but... Watson wiped them out judging by the difference in money they took. Though, Watson sounds like a monster... a lot of processors running and some database servers connected. This is a big hardware infrastructure isn't it? Though, I bet this can be made available to many via remote through the beauty of the Internet. Man... a friend of mine says... "we're nothing but dust"... today I feel I lost something to a computer... I don't like that but I'm amazed!!! Aren't you?

DrQuine
User Rank
CEO
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
DrQuine   2/18/2011 10:59:19 PM
NO RATINGS
Watson's ability to make sense of complex questions with subtle wording is very impressive (regardless of missing the category "U.S. Cities" in the airport / city question). While a lot of hardware was involved, the answers were also delivered quickly. A scaled down (affordable) set of hardware could probably deliver impressive results if a longer wait were acceptable. Most business decisions are not made at quite this pace (and span a less subject matter).

pjduncan
User Rank
Rookie
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
pjduncan   2/19/2011 2:33:36 AM
NO RATINGS
Watson should be pitted against two EE's to answer tech questions. Let's see how clever he is then. EE Times... I smell a sponsorship opportunity.

Neo10
User Rank
Rookie
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
Neo10   2/19/2011 6:27:20 AM
NO RATINGS
While I agree that what it(?) did was impressive, it was quite a mundane thing for us Humans. It didn't have to any actual thinking, it did a statistical match among millions of combinations to arrive at an answer. Good for many applications but far far from what we fear.

Sheetal.Pandey
User Rank
Manager
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
Sheetal.Pandey   2/19/2011 7:52:55 PM
NO RATINGS
Well it was bound to happen, I mean winning of Watson. Afterall its a supercomputer. Looking at the positive side of Watson, I guess it can be used in many places for welfare of people. But since its a machines it always needs to be monitored by a human.

pixies
User Rank
Rookie
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
pixies   2/22/2011 3:20:03 PM
NO RATINGS
Maybe one day in the near future computer can replace (or at least assist) the government in decision making. There you can have a benevolent dictator and do not have to worry about the problem associated with succession. But first the humans have to overcome our pride, I guess.

hasenmi
User Rank
Manager
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
hasenmi   11/20/2013 12:24:46 PM
NO RATINGS
Pixies, I recommend you get a copy of the movie titled "Colossus, the Forbin Project" and watch it. You might want to re-think the "benevolent dictator' idea.

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
Max The Magnificent   11/20/2013 12:32:50 PM
NO RATINGS
@Michael: I recommend you get a copy of the movie titled "Colossus, the Forbin Project"...

I remember watching that on TV in the 1970s ... scary!

elctrnx_lyf
User Rank
Manager
re: What's next for IBM's Watson?
elctrnx_lyf   2/22/2011 4:55:16 PM
NO RATINGS
The higher computing power is definitely amazing. Does it mean that these devices can actually replace humans to do certain job or they can only assist humans to take better decisions.

Radio
NEXT UPCOMING BROADCAST
EE Times Senior Technical Editor Martin Rowe will interview EMC engineer Kenneth Wyatt.
Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed
Flash Poll