Wednesday 4 December 2013

Frank Stein on Watson and the Journey to Cognitive Computing

Frank Stein on cognitive computing
Frank Stein from IBM outlined their project Watson and the Journey to Cognitive Computing at the STM Innovations seminar. Data is exploding driven by unstructured data (in descending order: video, image, audio, text, structured data). How do we build a system that can take all this info and build something useful for researchers, doctors, etc?

The Watson and Jeopardy! example shows how they have developed a programme that can match deeper evidence and use temporal reasoning, statistical paraphrasing and geospatial reasoning. The evidence is still not 100% certain, but it is about about likelihood and confidence.

What they learned in Jeopardy
The DeepQA approach can accurately answer single sentence queries with confidence and speed. It is highly dependent on content, content quality, and content formats. They need a combination of technologies to get satisfactory performance (semantic technology, machine learning, information retrieval/search technology, databases and high performance computing techniques). Both structured and unstructured content need to be combined for best results. They now need to extend Watson to handle richer interactions and continuous training/learning.

Here's the IBM video about Watson and the game show Jeopardy!

Watson Decision Advisor in medicine
A data-rich, societally important field helping Watson change how medicine is:
IBM used to produce typewriters
When Stein started, IBM produced typewriters. Now they have 10,000+ products. Their sales agents need help. IBM is building out a portfolio of Watson Solutions including Watson Engagement Advisor for use in situations in which you need stronger ties with constituents and better automated or agent-facilitated conversations. Examples include: bank outreach to customers for cross-sell, cable operator services and support, tax agency advice, etc. 

What's next - Cognitive Computing
Watson is ushering in a new era of computing. We have transitioned from the tabulating systems era to programmable systems era. Now we are moving into a world called cognitive systems era. This is a key technology for a new era of computing that takes into account:
  • Content and learning
  • Visual analytics and interaction
  • Data centric systems
  • Cognitive architecture
  • Atomic and nano-scale.

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