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Industry News Round- up – What is Watson Up To?

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With a new year upon us, today let’s look at what IBM Watson has been up to so far in 2016.

More Work for Watson

Fortune recaps Watson at CES where IBM announced new ways in which Watson is being used. Stacey Higginbotham writes, “Watson now offers coaching through Under Armour’s app for consumers using certain products. Watson can also warn diabetics using certain Medtronic devices if their blood sugar gets too low. Whirlpool is using the cognitive computer to grab data from its connected appliances in hopes of understanding if there are flaws in its manufacturing lines. And finally, Watson is now the brains inside SoftBank’s Pepper robot.”  Ms. Higginbotham points out Watson’s ever expanding capabilities – voice recognition, computer vision and predictive intelligence.

For Whirlpool using Watson is about handing data from connected appliances better and for Medtronic and SoftBank it is more about extracting more value and opportunities from existing data.  All in all, more industries are finding work for Watson.

Watson-powered Wellness App

Natalie Gagliordi of ZDNet reports, “IBM’s Watson-powered wellness app with Pathway Genomics enters alpha release.The app focuses on a wellness report compiled from a bevy of data sources, such as a user’s genetic test, health habits, and health tracker information from the likes of Apple HealthKit.”  This new app crunches diet, exercise and metabolism to build a “personalized approach to preventative medicine.” Ms. Galiordi points out that this is the latest effort by IBM to position Watson at the forefront of medical innovation.

Watson Takes on the World

Bernard Marr takes a step back on Thoughts on Cloud and digs into what makes Watson tick. In his interview with IBM, he describes the three “legs” that form Watson’s cognitive computing. First, Watson is designed to use natural language processing so it can work and react in real language and IBM points out it can even learn nuances, idiosyncrasies and colloquialisms of human language. Second, Watson can process enormous amounts of data to come up with probabilistic answers. And finally Watson’s ability to learn, fueled by big data Mr. Marr points out, means Watson can only get better with every use.