What is Watson ?
IBM Watson is a technology platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data .
Watson analyses unstructured data and it quickly extract key information from all documents to processing to understand grammar and context, so Watson reveals insights, patterns and relationships across data. Watson uses IBM’s DeepQA software and the Apache UIMA framework, the system was written in various languages, including Java, C++, and Prolog, and runs on the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 operating system using Apache Hadoop framework to provide distributed computing.
The system is workload-optimized, integrating massively parallel POWER7 processors and built on IBM’s DeepQA technology, which it uses to generate hypotheses, gather massive evidence, and analyze data. Watson employs a cluster of ninety IBM Power 750 servers, each of which uses a 3.5 GHz POWER7 eight core processor, with four threads per core. In total, the system has 2,880 POWER7 processor threads and 16 terabytes of RAM. The sources of information for Watson include encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, newswire articles, and literary works. Watson also used databases, taxonomies, and ontologies. Specifically, DBPedia, WordNet, and Yago were used.
How it works:
IBM Watson wowed the tech industry and a corner of U.S. pop culture with its 2011 win against two of Jeopardy’s greatest champions.
Watson started as a question answering computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language. The computer system was specifically developed to answer questions on the quiz show Jeopardy.
Watson competed on Jeopardy against former winners Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings.
Watson received the first place prize of $1 million.
Watson had access to 200 million pages of structured and unstructured content consuming four terabytes of disk storage including the full text of Wikipedia, but was not connected to the Internet during the game. For each clue, Watson’s three most probable responses were displayed on the television screen. Watson consistently outperformed its human opponents on the game’s signaling device, but had trouble responding to a few categories, notably those having short clues containing only a few words.
In February 2013, IBM announced that Watson software system’s first commercial application would be for utilization management decisions in lung cancer treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in conjunction with health insurance company WellPoint.
Watson is built to mirror the same learning process that we have—through the power of cognition. What drives this process is a common cognitive framework that humans use to inform their decisions: Observe, Interpret, Evaluate, and Decide.
The folk rock icon stars in an IBM commercial in which he talks with the Watson supercomputer about music, love, and, of course, its knack for coming up with smart answers.