InterConnect 2015: Watson Keynote

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Quick recap of the Watson keynote. To see a replay of the session, go to IBM InterConnectGO 2015. The theme of this talk was “Watson for everyone”. IBM Senior VP Mike Rhodin challenged attendees to think about what they can do with Watson. As an example of out-of-the-box thinking, he presented the Kickstarter project cognitoys:


The creators claim it “allows kids to directly engage in intelligent conversation with their toys. The technology allows toys to listen, speak and simultaneously evolve, learn and grow with your child; bringing a new element of personalized, educational play to children.” The popularity of the idea was demonstrated by their Kickstarter project exceeding its funding goal 3x in the first day.

Mobile users will find Watson’s ability to respond to ambiguous questions helpful. This approach contrasts with the traditional structured searches that simply find keyword matches without understanding intent. Consequently Watson’s cognitive computing brings a competitive edge. Which again begs the question: What will you do with Watson?

Several partners presented how they have used Watson’s capabilities. eyeQ specializes in digital content presentation at the point of sale; they use Watson to help customers make onsite product selection decisions. Their recommendations are based on analysis of the shoppers age, gender, and personality based on their Twitter feed.

Sellpoints explained that 69% of consumers use search engines to make purchase decisions, but they drop off rapidly with each additional step (click) in the process. By searching on intent rather than simply by keyword matching, they reduce the number of steps and thus increase sales.


Red Ant presented SellSmart which helps retail sales staff bridge gaps in product knowledge and make recommendations based on purchase history and customer demographics.


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