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Watson, an artificial advisor on your board of directors

Four years have passed since Watson won the Jeopardy TV contest. Since then, the IBM supercomputer has lost weight (90% smaller) and livestock performance (has a 2400% more). The R & D project has industrialized and transformed into a business solution. And it has become a key business strategy for Big Blue.

“Watson brings together all data from social networks. He is living in cloud and cloud-born. It has agility. It also allows developers to do things and is mobile. We can help, join us in our intelligence and our decision making. He’s doing in nearly 17 industries. Is at the service of our mind and our capabilities, “said the president of IBM for Spain, Portugal, Greece and Israel, Marta Martinez, a signature event held in Madrid.

Watson not only mimics the human form of reasoning, hypothesizing before a question and choosing the answer that generates more confidence, but also experience and learn with each interaction. It is designed to understand natural language and analyze data that is even anarchic. Martinez is convinced that its creation is “the most powerful technology that has ever existed in the service of intelligence and analytical capacity of human beings”.

IBM is creating the standard bearer for a new era in information and communications technology, the so-called cognitive computing. This concept is breaking into businesses and could revolutionize many sectors in the coming years. The cognitive computing can be used in a B2B environment to assess buyouts, investment decisions, strategic planning, project planning, diagnostics, select potential markets, conduct competitive analysis, product design and many other fields.

“If the data is the raw material par excellence of the economy and the digital society, cognitive systems are a necessary tool for us to transform this potential into real value and amplify our own powers of observation, evaluation, analysis and decision making” she added the president of IBM.

In these four years, Watson has found all kinds of partners in 25 different countries, surpassing the 700 partners. On January 1, 2014, IBM created a special division located in Manhattan focused on its supercomputer and called ‘IBM Watson’ with a commitment to invest 1,000 billion in products and services of artificial intelligence in the next two years. The company has 2,500 professionals assigned to this new division, have developed more than 750 applications and has created an investment fund in artificial technology companies amounting to 100 million dollars.

In this sense, it is still a large movement at the level of venture capital around these companies. Startups artificial intelligence and analytical computational data obtained substantial rounds in recent months. IBM has highlighted the Sentient Technologies, which in late November collected 103.5 million dollars in a round of Series C.


IBM is on the hunt for this type of emerging firms. Big Blue has shown a practical example of how Watson is able to assess potential mergers and acquisitions interesting startups. At IBM they are trying to find companies by sector. Its technology is able to put these companies on a table, extract only some values to compare benefits data, employees, etc. Thanks to the cognitive strategy it is possible to introduce a new document and integrate it and process quickly. Also, you can find comparable to other startups in real time and will make decisions according to the preferences of its users.

One of the first uses of cloud supercomputer was health. Clinical MD Anderson Cancer Center, which specializes in cancer treatments, has made many advances thanks to Watson.

Mara Antonov, clinical instructor of the center, explained how they use cognitive computing with virtual advisor Expert Advisor Oncology MD Anderson. This, with integrated Watson technology is able to provide better customer service as a greater number of tests are available. They can perform diagnosis and analyze structured on medication, potential therapies or patient data. It provides strategies and allows learning to complications. Synthesizes information from Internet, databases and other sources much faster. In short, it has “a great impact on the quality of life of patients and significantly improves information flow”. Moreover, as difficulties mentioned “education and training” required by the system.

The bank CaixaBank is working with IBM on a prototype Watson able to work in Spanish. both are currently working on the Watson Engagement Advisor, a tool that gives employees better access to knowledge, which will affect its customers solution. For now, it is being used for foreign trade issues, as revealed Anna Mialet, director of strategic development and innovation in CaixaBank.

The CTO of Repsol, Fernando Early, recognizes that its business relies heavily on the decisions they make their geologists who have a large percentage of risk by opening exploratory wells. In the oil industry giant investments are made and resources 40 to 50% are recovered. Watson helps reduce uncertainty and risk. “Any improvement to get information and make better decisions affect us greatly and can report to us significant savings,” says Early.

Watson’s future

Watson few years can become an indispensable advisor in all types of organizations, an artificial counselor to help you make all kinds of decisions. Dario Gil, director of cognitive systems Symbiotic Research Center in New York from IBM Research, is convinced that “the impact of these systems will transform all professions”.

“The future of expertise is how to teach machines to learn for themselves. Overcome physical limitations, limitations on connectivity and productivity limitations. As humans we make a lot of cognitive errors. Technology should provide analytical quality. Systems like Watson will be our partners, could end up occupying a seat on the boards of directors, “envisions responsible.

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