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Advances in technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology and biotechnology have the potential to disrupt the rules of the game for every industry.

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IBM’s Watson Joins Research Team at RPI

This article was first published on 5 February 2013.

Make no mistake – IBM’s Watson is a big deal and is described by people close to developments in the evolution of artificial intelligence as being a very significant development.  While the initial flurry of excitement around Watson related to it’s win on the TV show Jeopardy, the key thing you need to understand as a business leader is that Jeopardy was the beginning not the end of the Watson story.  In the twenty four months since Watson defeated the greatest Jeopardy champions ever, IBM has been very busily working away in the background on the goal of making Watson into a very practical tool.  The article summarises some of what’s been going on:

“Currently, Watson’s fact-finding prowess is being applied to crucial fields, such as healthcare, where IBM is collaborating with medical providers, hospitals and physicians to help doctors analyze a patient’s history, symptoms and the latest news and medical literature to help physicians make faster, more accurate diagnosesIBM is also working with financial institutions to help improve and simplify the banking experience.”

It’s reasonable to expect that, as IBM become more masterful as applying Watson’s capability in domains such as finance and medicine, the marginal cost of shifting into new domains will decrease and quite possibly, very rapidly.  If your business is in any way based on the use and application of expert knowledge you need to have this on your radar.  This is not science fiction – it’s the here and now.

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