Makers and students are introduced to Watson
Ashoori’s explorations with “embodied cognition,” the idea of embedding artificial intelligence like speech and natural language understanding into objects in our everyday lives, led to a project that would help people better understand how to use Watson. “My team wanted to create a fun way for people to build things with Watson,” she says. “We did a lot of brainstorming and prototyping, creating things like a cognitive chair that measures posture, and a cognitive lamp that responds to your voice.
“But the concept that we really fell in love with was a paper robot we called TJBot — affectionately named after Thomas J. Watson, the first Chairman and CEO of IBM. While in this case we’re putting Watson technologies into a cardboard cutout, imagine these types of capabilities in your walls, in your furniture, or in objects in your home.”
TJBot made his public debut in November 2016 at the Watson Developer Conference, targeting two communities: makers and students. “Makers,” explains Ashoori, “because they like building and tinkering with things, and students because we believe it has tremendous potential for teaching kids programming with Watson.”