Watson, IBM's signature artificial-intelligence system, became famous in 2011 for beating Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings at his own game. But now IBM has much larger plans for it.
At the World of Watson event held last week in New York, Ginni Rometty, the chairman and CEO of IBM, stood on stage in front of a packed room and announced that she was going to make "a bold prediction".
"In the future, every decision that mankind makes is going to be informed by a cognitive system like Watson," she said "and our lives will be better for it".
According to the IBM CEO, cognitive systems have a place in almost any type of decision a person or company may be faced with, whether that involves buying a house, making an investment, developing a pharmaceutical drug, or designing a new toy.
"As Watson gets smarter, his ability to reason is going to exponentially increase" Rometty said. What will be really game changing won't be Watson's knack for recalling facts faster than even the most trivia-savvy human, but its ability to assist people with the complex and nuanced tasks of decision-making and analysis.
"Watson deals in the gray area, where there's not a perfect right and wrong answer" she continued. "That's the hardest thing we do as humans".
While the Watson technology is exponentially increasing its processing power on an annual basis and steadily moving from answering trivia questions, to cooking advice, onto medical advice, it is about time we confront it with the million dollar question: "Watson, what do you want?".
Via: Business Insider