When you lead the busy life of a technical professional, it is good to step back for a minute and look at something different (but somewhat related to the day job). IBM’s Watson system playing Jeopardy has been the distraction this week. for those of you that missed this – take a look at http://ibmwatson.com/ This is all standard hardware but with some very sophisticated software loaded with a lot of information. This system is NOT connected to the internet but putting together potential answers from its knowledgebase, working out confidence levels in the answer and then mechanically pushing a buzzer in a second or less if Watson decides to answer.
Well done to Watson – and all the humans who created him.
The implications for people or organisations trying to solve complex problems based on complex unstructured data is immense. IBM has already talked about turning the game show champ into systems for medical diagnosis.
Perhaps Ray Kurzweil and his predictions in his book “The Singularity is Near” is not as far-fetched as they at first appear.