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What would you ask IBM Watson?

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IBM WatsonI’m sure you have heard about IBM Watson, the computer system capable of understanding human language to the degree it was able to beat champions in the TV game show Jeopardy! But that’s so 2011.

Since then, Watson’s capability to provide confidence-rated responses with visibility into the supporting evidence has been put to work in more useful domains like healthcare. Working with industry experts from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic, MD Anderson Cancer Center and WellPoint, IBM trained Watson to analyze tons of medical records, books and journals to help physicians better prescribe treatments for patients by providing evidence-based suggestions and even asking for additional information that may confirm or discard specific conditions (of course leaving the final opinion for the human medic—this is not a game anymore).

Now imagine if Watson was available in the cloud for experts in other industries, content providers and application developers working together to create a new kinds of services powered by Watson’s capability to understand enormous quantities of unstructured data, providing answers, suggestions or warnings as a human would do.

IBM Watson logoImagine a personal assistant (trained by experts) that had read a complete library full of domain-specific documents, as well as yesterday’s news and your personal information (if you allowed it). In addition, this assistant is always learning from feedback given by you and other users.

What would you ask?

Could such a tool help you in your work?

How would it help you in your personal activities?

Or perhaps you’re more interested in actually building applications that put those remarkable capabilities to work or providing high quality information for these applications to rely on?

Those interested in creating such solutions can now join the Watson Ecosystem where IBM has made available useful resources for them, including the Watson Developer Cloud with tools and application programming interfaces (APIs) to create Powered by IBM Watson applications, the Watson Content Store and the Watson Talent Hub to bring together experts that can provide on-demand skills.

The whole idea of the Watson Ecosystem relies on the assumption that the more diverse the available resources, the more complex, interesting and successful the produced applications will be.

With that, the question turns into: How will you leverage the Watson Ecosystem? If you’d like to continue this discussion, please comment below or connect with me on Twitter @patchank.

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