Six years ago today, IBM Watson made an appearance on Jeopardy! against two of the show’s most famous champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.
Watson seemed like a novelty back then, and people watching at home were skeptical, but were they impressed when the supercomputer, won?
Watson had started as a DeepQA machine, operating on just a single CPU, taking up to two hours to answer a single question. Today, Watson has a real job. Watson technology, using cognitive computing, has become more available, more advanced, and is being leveraged across numerous industries, from hospitality to healthcare – to improve consumer experience, gain customer insight, to enhance business and human life.
In an article about cooking with IBM Watson on Bon Appétit, when asked what it was like to cook with Watson, Dawn Perry said:
“It was a good workout. Think of a long-distance runner who goes in for a cardio workout. You’re not used to it—but it’s good for you.” Perry explained that developing a recipe with Chef Watson feels remarkably like being a contestant on Jeopardy! (where another version of Watson famously appeared—and won—in 2011). “You’re given the answer—the ingredient list—before you really know what questions to ask.” Cooking like that can feel challenging, or even frightening at first, but after an initial test drive, it can be inspiring, enjoyable, even liberating.”
Watson isn’t just for recipes…
Unlike humans, Watson, using raw data, free of human biases, has predicted with stunning accuracy everything from the top selling gifts of the holiday season to the way recipients might interpret the tone of your email before you send it.
I used the Watson tone analyzer to gauge the tone of my most recent blog post and it was fairly accurate…but, surely you’ve noticed how difficult it is to analyze the tone of people (even those we know well) in text messages. I sometimes feel obligated to include happy emojis in my text messages, just to be sure that my own friends and family won’t assume I was being rude or sarcastic with whatever response I give; so I can only imagine how difficult it would be for a machine to be accurate in the human tone reading department.
While Watson has been wrong before, even publicly on Jeopardy!, it grows smarter every day. Who knows what the future of Watson will bring; maybe the ideal customer service experience or perhaps a cure to cancer? Only time will tell…happy six year anniversary since winning Jeopardy!, Watson.
Watson is still looking for more work and more use cases. Contact TxMQ today to discover how your business can harness the power of Watson.
(Featured Image Credit: IBM)