Cognitive computing. This is the key word to define IBM Watson, an innovative computing system created with the intent to provide a revolutionary way to interact with computers and analyze information.
Synthetically, what Watson does is to build knowledge and learn out of the information provided by the user. He was programmed to understand, reason and interact more naturally with human beings than traditional systems. He also has the ability to put content in the right context, he can identify patterns and insights inside a text and has the ability to solve more complex problems than traditional systems. This happens also thanks to its ability to unlock the complexity of big data and exploit the power of natural language processing.
The most skeptical ones could argue that this looks more like science fiction than actual reality. But let’s have a more detailed look to what Watson can do.
Currently, this innovative platform for cognitive computing is structured in six divisions. Each one is specialized on a specific field and offers slightly different services.
Watson Engagement Advisor
This division focuses on understanding context and dialog. Its main field of application consist in the automation of customer interaction through the use of easily understandable natural language. Substantially, Watson Engagement Advisor provides a thoughtful and reasoned answer for the questions addressed by a customer and he learns from each interaction.
If you want to optimize your work and take better decisions, Watson Explorer is the right tool for you. What this system does is combining data from different sources throughout the company and present in a single view all material relevant for the user. It delivers data, analitics and cognitive insights relevant to the user’s role, context and current activities.
Watson Discovery Advisor
Watson Discovery Advisor accelerate the process of discovering information, enhancing the innovation level of the employees’ activities. It looks to different data sources, merging public and internal knowledge to strengthen the information available to the company. This integration process allows Watson to further learn from the knowledge acquired and processed.
Watson for Oncology
Due to the large amount of data and its complexity, clinicians struggle to keep up with all those different research, medical records, and clinical trials. In this case Watson helps oncologists in scaling and processing existing knowledge by providing them treatment options based on previous experience of other physicians. Specifically, he analyzes the patient’s medical record and identifies potential treatments based on previous evidence available from different sources.
Watson for Clinical Treatments
This system allows clinicians to find more easily a list of potential clinical trials for which a patient could be eligible. What Watson does in this case is to find potential clinical trial options, it helps increase the clinical trial fulfilment and allows the medics to see what kind of data was used to create the recommendations.
Watson Knowledge Studio
This final tool is most useful for Watson itself: developers and experts can teach the system and make it learn new knowledge. This instrument improve Watson ability to understand meanings, linguistic nuances and relationships in specific knowledge domains, professions and industries.
After this more detailed description, we can define Watson as a truly destructive technology, able to create a revolution in many industries. We can expect in the near future to see this system operating in multiple fields and replacing many jobs that require a low level of creativity and inventive.