Paul Fryer, IBM Europe’s Academic Initiative Leader, came to Southampton to introduce us to the ‘thinking’ and possibly world changing computer system Watson. Watson first came to the worlds attention when it took on, and convincingly beat, former champions on the US game show Jeopardy. Watson achieved this feat by using cognitive technology that processes information in a more human like way - this enabled Watson to understand and navigate the double meanings which often occur in natural human language.
Since taking part in Jeopardy, IBM have mainly been focusing on how Watson can help in the medical world specifically in regards to oncology. IBM provided Watson with the contents of all published medical research relating to cancer and gave it the task of suggesting possible target proteins for further research. IBM’s long term goal is for medical practitioners to be able to work in tandem with Watson when making diagnoses - Watson being capable of keeping up to date with current research in a way that is not possible for a human.
IBM Watson computer (from Wikipedia)