Fast Company listed five ways that IBM could change the face of computing in the future with its ‘artificial intelligence computing platform’ Watson, in an online article last week. The website cites falling hardware sales by Big Blue and the growth of Watson as a possible indicator that IBM’s future ‘arguably depends on Watson’s success’.
In an interview with senior vice president and effective head of IBM’s Watson group, Mike Rhodin, Fast Company gives an insight into what it believes to be Watson’s ‘roadmap’:
Making Doctors Smarter
Watson’s intelligence-gathering and analytical capabilities are a natural match for those areas of industry where information overload may encumber practitioners from doing the best possible job. According to FastCo, doctors and nurses are already using Watson in the field, and soon it will become an even more reliable advisor.
Watson is currently aimed at the workplace, and FastCo believes that the energy, oil, gas, government and financial industries are currently being targeted by IBM.
The backend of Watson relies on a process called ‘cognitive computing’, which allows software to mimic perceptive, cognitive, and interactive aspects of the human brain. Earlier this month, IBM announced a $3 billion R&D investment in computer hardware that mimics the human brain, and according to FastCo, is currently the only major player in the cognitive computing movement.
Coming to Phones, Tablets and Toys
IBM held a Watson mobile challenge at this year’s Mobile World Congress as a way of finding case studies for Watson outside of desktop computers, lending credence to FastCo’s claims that IBM is finding ways to integrate its capabilities within the consumer market.
Tomorrow’s Programmers are Building Apps for Watson
According to Mike Rhodin, “a large number of top schools in North America will train people on how to build cognitive applications and be the next generation of cognitive entrepreneurs in market.”
According to FastCo, IBM has also been giving outsiders access to Watson’s API (though applicants have complained of a glacial pace in approvals) to build out applications across a variety of industries.
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