IBM Watson a leading cognitive system to establish a new level of partnership between humans and computers is marching forward to be the decision maker of almost everything.
At IBM’s World of Watson conference held recently, the CEO Ginni Rometty in her keynote speech mentioned that the company’s main vision is to make IBM’s Watson AI the decision maker in almost every field ranging from business to personal work, in the next five years. Thereby, the company is aiming at introducing new levels of computer- based assistance.
Watson is already in application in fields like healthcare, finance, entertainment and retail. Watson is set to change how people live. Rometty has affirmed that Watson technology will touch hundreds of millions of people by the end of this year alone.
Rometty added, “Our goal is augmenting intelligence.” “It is man and machine. This is all about extending your expertise. A teacher. A doctor. A lawyer. It doesn’t matter what you do. We will extend it.”
An independent industry analyst, Jeff Kagan who attended the conference opined, “The challenge IBM has right now is to define the marketplace.” “Ten years from now, will IBM be the leader? Watson is the leader today but that’s easy… If they want to be a leader, they need to create the marketplace and the expectations.” He further stated that IBM’s Watson is set to be the base on which any company can build its program.
Watson may be embedded in Staples’ new Easy Button smart device or 1-800-Flowers.com’s new digital gift concierge or GM’s new OnStar Go service.
Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of General Motors, shared the stage with Rometty to talk about the company’s partnership with Watson to bring a cognitive element in its OnStar Go mobile platform.
OnStar is a company that has been providing in-vehicle communications, security, navigation, remote diagnostics and hands-free calling since 20 years.
With Watson in collaboration OnStar can assist its users and clients to avoid traffic when they’re low on gas, have a cup of coffee ordered and get a reminder to get off the highway two exits early to make it easier to stop at the pharmacy after work. Barra has stated that by early 2017 the Watson-based OnStar Go will be rolling out in cars.
Barra added, “We believe in the auto industry, in a period of five years, we’ll see more change than in the last 50.”
Rometty further shared that IBM’s moonshot is focused on healthcare, and she invited on stage Satoru Miyano, a professor of the Human Genome Center at the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Tokyo.
Miyano stated that the doctors are faced with too much data. “Nobody can read it all,” Miyano said. “We feel we are a frog in the bottom of the well. Understanding cancer is beyond a human being’s ability, but Watson can read, understand and learn. Why not use it?”
Miyano shared an experience of using Watson. A 66-year-old woman with leukemia was cured with Watson’s assistance. Initially, the doctors could not cure her of the disease. It was possible only after Watson has analyzed the data regarding the patient’s condition.
“Watson’s results were investigated, targeting specific genes,” Miyano said. “The team found she had another type of leukemia [that needed] a different therapy. She got it and she recovered completely.”
Rometty hopes Watson to “change the face of healthcare” in our lifetime.