Friday, May 31, 2013

Watson in your pocket

IBM's Watson deep Q&A system that famously beat the two best Jeopardy players in a million dollar challenge a couple of years ago is now being commercialised as originally intended. IBM learnt a big lesson from their champion chess playing system Deep Blue, namely, "so what's the use now?" Deep Blue may have beaten Gary Kasparov but that was all it could do. Watson was always intended to be a proving ground for a new form of artificial intelligence that would enable people to ask unstructured questions in their own words and get relevant answers from a deep corpus of knowledge. Watson has already been tested with oncologists and now it's heading into customer service. The MIT Technology Review reports that, working in the cloud, you'll soon be able to access Watson from your smartphone; companies like the Royal Bank of Canada, Nielsen, and close to home the ANZ are rolling out Watson-based conversation assistants. You can think of Watson like Apple's Siri on steroids.

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