IBM's Watson question answering supercomptuer is an impressive bit of kit. The machine has competed very well against humans in many areas, including on the game show Jeopardy. IBM has announced a new API that makes the Watson question answering machine available as a service.
I've always thought that the IBM Watson supercomputer was a very cool device indeed. In fact, I thought Watson was such an interesting machine that I even watched the episodes of Jeopardy where Watson was a contestant. I think it's the only time I ever watched Jeopardy.
IBM has competed in contests against human players with supercomputers like Watson before. IBM has announced that its Watson computer will compete against two of the all time great champions in Jeopardy. The two humans that Watson will play include Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.
IBM is throwing open the cognitive computing power of Watson to mobile developers, setting up a new challenge to create apps that take advantage of the supercomputer's natural language processing, machine-learning, and ability to process huge qualities of data in seconds. The IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, which will be accepting entries over the next three months, is looking for the best consumer and enterprise applications for the supercomputer that beat Jeopardy, as it tries to encourage adoption of its APIs.
IBM's Watson supercomputer has been tasked with profiling users from one side of the Internet to the other, using information it gathers from social media accounts to learn about individuals. This information can then be used by service providers and similar to best reach out to customers and potential customers, and could also be used by advertisers.
IBM's infamous Watson supercomputer is making its way to the classroom after appearing on Jeopardy! a while back. IBM announced today that they'll be building another Watson supercomputer and will be giving it to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to be the first university to receive a Watson supercomputer. Other universities are planned to get one in the future.
This week IBM's Watson has been going up against Jeopardy champs in the Jeopardy challenge. Now, IBM has announced that it will collaborate with Nuance to apply Watson's advanced analytics to the healthcare industry. The initiative will combine IBM's Deep Question Answering (QA), Natural Language Processing, and Machine Learning capabilities with Nuance's speech recognition technology and Clinical Language Understanding solutions. They hope to assist doctors in making patient diagnoses, by helping them to process large amounts of information more quickly.
Lenovo has inked a deal to buy IBM's x86 server business, taking Big Blue's Intel-based hardware division off its hands for $2.3bn. The two companies will also kick off a strategic relationship that will see Lenovo act as a reseller for certain IBM products, including enterprise storage systems and various software packages; IBM will still keep its fingers in the server pie, however, developing Windows and Linux software for x86 models.
It seems no job is safe in this economy, as it's being reported that IBM has begun its first round of layoffs in the US, starting with what is said to be at least 1,300 employees spread out amongst various departments at the company. The layoffs are said to be a part of a major restructuring plan for IBM that will cost around $1 billion.
Both the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and IBM have cited unforeseen costs and greater than expected complexities amongst reasons for abandoning plans to create a petaflop-speed supercomputer this Monday. A petaflop, for those wondering, is a measure of the processing speed of a computer, that being a thousand trillion floating point operations per second - a computer with such speed capabilities being news in and of itself. Having started the project back in 2008, IBM reports today that it has terminated its four-year "Blue Waters" contract estimated at about $208 million USD, previously expected to have been delivered inside 2011.