What’s What with Watson

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Watson’s different from any technology that’s ever existed before. Wondering how? Read on for a few tidbits on what makes Watson so amazing. 

1. What is IBM Watson?

IBM Watson is technology unlike any other that’s come before. By using its natural language capabilities to understand the complex nuances of everyday English, Watson can accurately analyze massive amounts of data and help people make more informed, evidence-based decisions.

2. How did it get its name?

Watson was named after Thomas J. Watson, who worked at IBM for 42 years and served as chairman from 1949 to 1956. He built a worldwide industry over the many years he led the company and penned the “THINK” motto, which is still a widely known symbol of IBM.

3. What makes Watson special?

Unlike other cognitive systems, it processes information more like a human than a computer — it not only remembers, but ‘understands’ everything it reads, and at lightning speed. This cognitive reasoning gives Watson the ability to help solve big, real world problems.  (Which sadly doesn’t include remembering where you put your car keys.)

4. How has Watson advanced over the years? 

Since its 2011 Jeopardy! win , Watson’s become 240% faster and 75% smaller in size. Once the size of a master bedroom, it’s now the size of four stacked pizza boxes! Most exciting of all, Watson’s now available on the cloud for commercial use so developers everywhere can use the technology to create their own cognitive applications.

5. Where’s Watson’s new home?

Watson will be headquartered in New York City’s emerging “Silicon Alley” technology hub. Hundreds of IBMers will collaborate with industry leaders, entrepreneurs, academics, researchers to create cognitive technology innovations in healthcare, financial services, retail, travel, telecommunications and more.

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