Watson: Round One Reactions
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  ibmwatson business_analytics ibmsoftware
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I saw the future of analytics last night, and that future was fast.
Fast enough for Watson to jump ahead by a few thousand dollars, before Brad Rutter (and the audience) caught their breath and finally caught up.
With the questions getting more difficult in Double Jeopardy, tonight’s game one finale will no doubt be a barn burner. Blink and you’ll miss it.
Along those lines, Steve Baker had a great op-ed piece in the L.A. Times this morning that addressed some of the fears that Watson may engender to the casual observer. Whether he allayed them is a question for another day, but I think I can summarize his point this way:
The machines aren’t taking over. They’re taking us forward.
This, as I see it, is the true potential for Watson. Watson doesn’t “know” anything – at least not in the same way that we know things. But we can feed it raw data from our own vast stores of knowledge and experience. We can ask it questions that we thought were too difficult to answer. Or that we thought would take too long to answer. Or that we thought we had insufficient data to answer. And through its algorithms and sheer processing power, it can reveal things we didn’t know and reveal them sooner.
With every advance in technology comes a corresponding advance in our own capabilities. Watson can reveal insights about our business and our world that we can’t arrive at on our own. And ideas and insights are what drives us forward.
As Baker writes:
We've already outsourced long division, spelling and much of our highway navigation to machines. Now we'll look to them more and more to dig through mountains of data and come up with answers for us. This should free us up to do what remains uniquely human, at least for now: generating fresh ideas.
I agree. Are you ready to start your journey?
I'll leave you with a video and some interesting Watson links: