Three years ago, IBM Corp (NYSE:IBM) Watson created more than a splash in the world of computers when it defeated the reigning champion Ken Jennings on Jeopardy but the splash soon turned into a ripple before disappearing altogether. As it turns out, Watson was just dormant and has now woken up with the latest update that it is shifting to Silicon Alley, a hi-tech up-market hub in Manhattan, New York. In 1986, Mayor Ed Koch had stated –
“New York is the city where the future comes to rehearse.”
Given the prominent presence that technology giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter maintain in the city, this prophecy has been proved correct down to its last word. IBM Corp (NYSE:IBM)’s decision to go with the trend and install Watson in New York goes on to underline its significance even in today’s world of decentralization and expanding networks.
Introducing Watson to New York was none other than its parent company’s CEO Ginni Rometty who chose to do the needful in the backdrop of 120,000 square feet spread over four floors. Some of the highlights of the premises are the Watson Experience Center that comprises of an Interactive Wall measuring 40 feet and an Immersion Room which features semi-circular screens extending from the floor to the ceiling not to mention servers which run Watson.
This hub is meant to serve as Watson’s gateway to the world wherein the technology will be demonstrated to interested parties on a global scale. Eventually, IBM Corp (NYSE:IBM) does plan to open Watson centers at major cities the world over and in keeping with this aspiration, the supercomputer is being taught several languages like Spanish, Japanese and Brazilian. Such will be its proficiency that instead of translating a phrase from English to the language in question, Watson will possess the fluency which will parallel the capability of a native speaker and also think in the same lingo.
All of this is of course based on the science of cognitive computing and the ability of the machine to learn and absorb new information from its environment so as to be able to interact with the user and come up with viable and practical solutions. As a part of its artificial intelligence demonstration, Watson was asked to diagnose a medical problem and after a speedy examination, it provided the answer as being ‘Kawasaki Disease’.
Expert Bob Pisani feels that one of the most reassuring aspects of Watson is its Vice-President Mike Rhodin as also the fact that it has a head-start on several fronts. If IBM Corp (NYSE:IBM) has been lagging in the field of cloud computing, can Watson fill in this gap and generate the requisite revenue?
This article has been written by Vinita Basu.