The replay of the TED talk "Final Jeopardy! and the Future of Watson" is available here: http://www.ted.com/webcast/archive/event/ibmwatson
Host Stephen Baker, author of "Man v. Machine," discusses Watson's performance on Jeopardy!, and the possible real-world applications of this technology with a panel of experts. The panel includes: IBM Watson Principal Investigator Dr. David Ferrucci, IBM Fellow and CTO of IBM's SOA Center for Excellence Kerrie Holley and Columbia University Professor of Clinical Medicine Dr. Herbert Chase.
I highly recommend taking the 33 minutes and watching this panel discussion. Some amazing bits of information about Watson's early beginnings, challenges, and what the future may hold. Exciting stuff!
And how about some other links about IBM's Watson while we're at it... lots of great info here:
As you digest all the information from the links above, I'll leave you with this: Jim Powers,
a Worldwide Technical Enablement Lead for IBM Software Group, Sales, gave us some fun and interesting insights after Wednesday night's final Jeopardy! game.
"I had the privilege of attending the Littleton lab event last night to watch Watson kick some (very smart) human butt with 300+ of my colleagues and their families. I was both impressed and proud (as was the rest of the audience), as we watched a machine about the size of several refrigerators make television history.
However, I then realized something: Watson represents what social learning is all about!
How? - Watson is NOT intelligent. Watson cannot exercise critical thinking, or make autonomous judgments outside of its programming.
What Watson does do very well is make very good use of all the existing, collective human knowledge in the world to process and produce answers very quickly. Isn't this what social learning, and Lotus Communities are all about?
I started to daydream a bit how Watson's Q&A technology can benefit the world. It made me really proud.
But I also feel that we, as a community who all feel strongly about social business and social learning, are working toward the same goal - one community and one organization at a time.
Soon, I hope we get to see Watson solving lots of our world's challenges. For now, I hope that we can gain good momentum and be successful at building a similar machine today - made up of real humans - by way of communities, blogs, and tagging."
Some great food for thought there, Jim...
This week has truly been ground breaking for our understanding of what natural language processing can accomplish. I can't wait to see where this technology takes us in the future, both from the machine perspective personified by Watson, but also from the social-learning and social business perspective as Jim outlined. Exciting times!