Watson is a cognitive computer that learns over time. You may recall how IBM Watson first shot to fame back in 2011 by beating two of greatest champions on TV.
Since then it has been applied in an ever-growing list of fields, thanks to three unique capabilities: natural language processing, hypothesis generation and evaluation, and dynamic learning.
IBM Watson: How it Works
Today, cognitive computing is being used in a wide variety of applications by various businesses to capitalise on cognitive capabilities and to gain a competitive advantage.
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1. ANZ Global Wealth, Citigroup and Standard Bank
In the financial sector, IBM Watson use is typically geared toward its question and answer capabilities. By not only answering questions, but also analysing them as well, Watson can help give financial guidance and help manage financial risk.
In Australia, the company ANZ Global Wealth is focused on the latter. The company uses the Watson Engagement Advisor Tool, an NLP SaaS offering, to observe and field customer questions.
The US based multinational banking company Citigroup explored Watson’s analytics to gather vast information from customers and provide suggestions to improve customer interactions, evaluated risk and identify opportunities and data patterns. Similarly, Standard Bank uses IBM Watson for speed handling of customer queries.
“The ultimate beneficiaries of the project will be our customers for whom the process-known as ‘cognitive computing’ will undoubtedly bring many benefits as we continue to identify innovative ways of doing business and build a bank for the future,” said Vuyo Mpako, head, innovation and channel design, Standard Bank.
2. ROSS Intelligence Inc.
When it comes to the law firms, most of us likely have more questions than answers on any topic. However, companies such as ROSS Intelligence Inc. are using Watson to make it easier to get answers to your burning legal questions. According to ROSS’s website, users can ask questions in plain English and the app uses NLP to understand the questions and then sifts through the entirety of a database to return a cited answer with relevant legislation. ROSS also monitors potential changes to relevant laws and alerts you when changes occur.
Meet ROSS, Your Brand New Artificially Intelligent Lawyer
3. American Cancer Society
The medical field is the sector that is likely being impacted the most by Watson. IBM Watson partnered with the American Cancer Society to create a virtual adviser that uses machine learning to offer patients personalised information and advice. For starters, Watson has taken residence at three of the top cancers hospitals in the US – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Mayo Clinic – where it helps with cancer research and patient care. In terms of cancer research, Watson is speeding up DNA analysis in cancer patients to help make their treatment more effective.
MSK collaborates with IBM to teach Watson in the Fight Against Cancer.
For physicians, Watson is helping with diagnoses. A dermatology app called schEMA allows doctors to input patient data and, using natural-language processing (NLP), helps identify potential symptoms and treatments. Additionally, Watson uses vision recognition to help doctors read scans such as X-rays and MRIs to better narrow the focus on a potential ailment.
4. General Motors
Automobile Industry is another fastest growing sectors amongst the cognitive computing adoptions. IBM and General Motors (GM) joined forces to add artificial intelligence to GM’s cars. The partnership aims to offer location-based products and services to you while you’re in your car. GM’s OnStar Go, is the industry’s first cognitive mobility service and will use machine learning to understand user preferences, and recognise patterns found in your decision data. From that, customers will receive personalised marketing services from numerous partners such as Glympse, iHeartRadio, Mastercard and Parkopedia.
OnStar: GM’s Ultimate Mobility Solution
5. University of Southampton and Sesame Workshop
The use of cognitive computing in the educational sector has been trending vastly. The University of Southampton is one of the first European university to collaborate with IBM Watson to offer research modules for students from all disciplines like medicine, chemistry, marine studies and the arts, rather than the typical computing subjects. Southampton students get to use Watson in a new Cognitive Computing module as part of its Curriculum Innovation programme.
IBM Watson and Sesame Workshop announced a partnership to improve early childhood education around the globe.
IBM and Sesame: Cognitive Vocabulary Learning App Pilot with Gwinnett County Schools
IBM’s general manager for Watson, Harriet Green said: “The potential for Watson to absorb, correlate, and learn from huge amounts of unstructured data and then deliver very personalised educational experiences is unprecedented. Working together with Sesame Workshop, we aim to transform the way in which children learn and teachers teach, and envision having an impact on the lives and education of millions of children.”
6. Condé Nast
The mass media company, Condé Nast partnered with Influential to use IBM Watson to help build informed social media campaigns for its brands.The software built by IBM and Influential, a ‘data-first influencer platform’ offers Condé Nast customers (such as the New Yorker and Vogue) insight into who to target their campaigns towards and what celebrities would make good brand ambassadors. For example, if a brand wants to find somebody who is compassionate, Watson will analyse the last 20,000 words and emojis potential ‘influencers’ have published looking for the perfect person fitting the brief.
Most companies in the retail market struggle to provide consistent, excellent customer service. US retailer Macy’s announced it’s testing ‘Macy’s On-Call’, a new mobile service in which shoppers can ask (in natural language) Watson questions about a store’s products, services and facilities. This technology is delivered by Satisfi, a location-based engagement software which accesses Watson from the cloud, providing shop assistance in both English and Spanish.
Macy’s chief growth officer, Peter Sachse said: “This program, in partnership with Satisfi and leveraging the power of IBM Watson, will help us explore new ways to engage one-on-one with customers in-store, providing them another level of service right at their fingertips.”
Macy’s On Call mobile shopping companion via IBM Watson and Satisfi
Quant-one’s MusicGeek takes digital music industry to a whole new level with the help of Watson. Apart from obtaining insights from select music blogs and biographies, the platform also leverages a goldmine of data that interconnects artists, genres, venues, and performances to turn Watson into the ultimate music recommendation platform. MusicGeek, developed and currently offered by the company Quant-one, covers a library of over 15 million tracks and counting. When added to the recommendations, tracks are accompanied by comprehensive details such as the recording location, release data, beats per minute and genre.
These are just a few examples of businesses that harness cognitive technologies to create new opportunities. Watson and its ilk have an opportunity to help many businesses make better, more informed decisions.